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On today’s program “SOS Mediterranean: Guardian Angel of the Sea,” it is our honor to interview Fabienne Lassalle, the Deputy Executive Director of SOS Mediterranean-France, about her organization’s praiseworthy work on behalf of those seeking a better and safer life in new lands. SOS Mediterranean is a humanitarian maritime association established by a group of European citizens from various professional backgrounds, including seafaring, relief assistance, and healthcare. It provides aid to people in distress in international waters, particularly to refugees fleeing to Europe via the central Mediterranean Sea. The life-saving mission in international waters is not an easy task. It counts on the joint efforts of dedicated experts from different professional backgrounds and non-governmental organizations.
SOS Mediterranean has four national associations located in Germany, Italy, France, and Switzerland, respectively. It also partners with humanitarian medical organization Doctors Without Borders that has benevolently funded the rescue ship’s monthly costs and supplied medical equipment onboard since 2016. Between February 2016 and October 2018, SOS Mediterranean operated the Aquarius and assisted 29,523 people.
And since August 2019, when the Ocean Viking took over, more than 1,200 people have been saved from drowning. Why do people risk their lives to relocate somewhere thousands of kilometers away from their homes? Fabienne Lassalle provides her observations. “While crossing in such surreal and dangerous conditions in this sea, it’s not even hope anymore, that they are in such difficult conditions. They have no other choice. It’s no longer even a desire to join Europe, it’s just a desire to flee. So, this we can mobilize to do. I hope to find solutions to change things and give these people another future.”
We profoundly thank you, SOS Mediterranean, for your selfless humanitarian actions on behalf of people in distress at sea. May Heaven’s love shine on you and on all partners as well as the migrants and displaced persons you assist. Supreme Master Ching Hai: “Thankfully present SOS Mediterranean with the Shining World Compassion Award, plus a US$20,000 loving contribution to humbly support its benevolent, lives-saving work, with much love, gratitude and respect. May all involved be immensely blessed, in God’s grace and mercy.”