For years I worked with refugees at the Birmingham branch of the Red Cross. I think it was before I joined the Walsall Friends of the Earth group. But the time-line isn’t the key message I am trying to convey.
The message I want to share is simple. I have been in England, since the age of Five, born in Tigray (Northern Ethiopia). I feel British, and like lots of British people felt compassion when I heard the plight of others who fled from wars. I knew I had come to the U.K due to conflict back home, but my protective mother, never shared the horrific details. In November 2020, my life changed when faced with the fact that my family could be wiped out due to a genocide occurring back home. I have two homes, naturally as I am mixed race/dual heritage.
I am part of a collective that has demonstrated and in June we have been promised a meeting with the APPG for Genocide.
But on a personal level , I organised a meeting in Walsall, to show solidarity and support for Tigray, it was two-fold. On one level to inform people of this hidden Genocide, and secondly, for the speakers, to know they are not alone.
When I mentioned this meeting with the Walsall branch of F.O.E, they didn’t hesitate , they immediately accepted the invitation to attend. It really meant a lot to me. But this is not uncommon within Friends of the Earth members, hence the title of the Charity starts with FRIENDS
Written by, Leandra Gebrakedan, Walsall FoE