Supporting Black women and their children
The Global Black Coalition is continuing to actively support Black women and their children. Many of them are currently facing differential treatment and racism in shelters and countries across Europe while seeking refuge.
We are on the ground continuing to work with teams stationed in 5 countries across Europe and 2 countries in North America. We are actively assisting vulnerable community members including mothers and children.
Over the past month, we have assisted a total of 24 mothers and children across Europe who fled the war in Ukraine. One of these mothers is a woman named Abigail and her two children (6 year-old and three year old girls).
Abigail is one of many many Black women and their children who are being mistreated since the beginning of the war, in and outside of Ukraine.
Abigail even volunteered at a refugee Center outside of Ukraine; she did everything that she was asked, went above and beyond and yet, after all of that was denied diapers for her 3 year old girl. She was told that it’s her fault if her child still wears diapers and that she would not be given any.
Furthermore, while other workers from the factory in which she worked in Ukraine were paid, she was denied her last salary.
At the border, when she arrived a few weeks ago, she and her children were the only people to be searched and questioned multiple times. She and her children were the only Black people there that day.
Abigail shared with us that she wants to be an asset, not a liability. She has been actively looking for a job but was denied all opportunities to work while Ukrainians are allowed to do so.
She was held at the border for close to 48 hours with her children. They even questioned her motherhood and asked insinuated that her children were not hers.
She requested Ukrainian documents which include but are not limited to their passport and was told that she would have to wait six months while Ukrainians are given these same documents way earlier!
Trauma after trauma, many visible minorities are struggling first to cope with this war and second to resettle elsewhere.
This is why we do the work that we do. Sometimes it feels as if we are all we have.
Over the past three months, we have met some of the most resilient and brilliant people. Doctors, future doctors, engineers, psychologists, businessmen and women, marines and future marines, people who made Ukraine their homes and have no where else to go … For mothers like Abigail, Ukraine is her home. Her children were born in Ukraine. I fact, they are more fluent in the language of the country than they are in English. The 3 year old does not even speak English.
If only the border agents, the European countries and the world could have as much compassion for our people….
We are not going to wait on the world… we are going to continue doing our best to assist community members.
We encourage all people to use their voice, their platforms and resources to support as many community members as possible and denounce the racism faced by visible minorities.