Changing the rules of the game

Sarajevo - Corona proof Ninja Distro

02.04.2020. As pretty much everywhere in Europe, Bosnia is alllll about Corona at the moment. Although the first confirmed cases were Bosnian people who had visited Italy, politicians and media are unafraid to blame the Middle-Eastern migrants for bringing the disease into Bosnia. This has led to a few radical measures, good and bad.

Within a few days, capacity for Blazuj camp increased with 1000 beds. What we have advocated for for 2 years in Bosnia finally happened. Space was made available, not just for families but also for the single men and boys. But people were not given any choice - hostels, squats and ruins were raided and 400 people were forced to Blazuj by the police.

Migrants are blamed for spreading the virus and are thus banned from public spaces, public transport, shops and supermarkets, just for being darker skinned. Police hunts down on migrants and violently drops them off at the camp gate. The camp is full once again, thus the refugees are not allowed to enter and forced to walk back to Sarajevo, from where the vicious cycle will start again.

Providing aid on the streets has never been this hard, but people on the move are still hungry, cold and sick - now more than ever as they can't work, beg or visit a supermarket. But the volunteers keep going: they deliver food packs, medical supplies and clothes on the doorsteps of ruined squats. We are incredibly proud to support them and their contactless, Corona proof 'ninja distributions'. With gloves, face masks and strict safety measures, homeless refugees can still get survival packs safely.

Corona is not about fearing foreigners or blaming people for the colour of their skin. The smartest and most humane thing to do is to provide proper, safe shelter to all: old, young, homeless, black or white. Let's use this crisis to unite, protect the vulnerable and leave no one behind.