Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” But what does really matter? And to what extent can we consider ourselves capable to separate what matters and what does not? We are called Migrants Matter, but do migrants really matter? Freedom of choice (to the extent that it doesn’t harm our neighbour) composes the basis of freedom. We are free thanks to the right to choose how to conduct our lives. This is the biggest inalienable right we all possess. The consequence is democracy.
Everyone can rationally choose what matters. Family, friends, politics, sports, TV shows, novels, studies, jobs, careers, maternity, love, and I could keep on writing examples for the entire article. Migrants Matter chose that migrants matter.
One and a half years have passed since our first meeting in which we decided to advocate for the cause of migrants. One and a half years during which our voice started rising. Everything began with a whisper. And now this whisper is becoming a little bit stronger, because we found other people like us who think that migrants matter too. They are not activists, but does it matter? Most of them are students as we are, as we were. What matters is that they care as much as we do. What matters is that they decided to organise a fundraising event to demonstrate their support for our cause. What matters is that they spent time and money buying food, setting up tables and chairs, preparing a quiz show, and involving other people…and they did all extremely well. The initiative was organised by a group of twelve people living in a dormitory of the University of Leuven: Leo XIII Seminarie. Every year these amazing people organise a fundraising night, in order to collect some money devoted to a specific cause. This year Migrants Matter has been chosen to receive these benefits. And we want to thank them.
Tara Ohl is one of the “the brave twelve” who organised the fundraising event and she was the connection between Migrants Matter and the Leo XIII Seminarie. The event took place on March the 24th and more or less ninety people participated. Below is an interview with Ms. Ohl:
Hi Tara, so how did you manage the organisation of the event?
The organisation was led by the great Nathalie, and each of the twelve had various tasks such as preparing questions, practical questions, power-points and also baking.
What did you organise to entertain the guests?
Jan, our main host, very successfully entertained over 90 people, in 19 participating teams. The participants were mostly students from Leuven. Questions were on: art and cinema, literature, music, sports, science. During the evening, we also offered refreshments (beers and freshly baked cakes) which were also a great success thanks to Eva, Manuel and Ayuka. During the evening we also had a small speech by Sarah, a Migrants Matter representative, who explained to everyone the work of the organisation and their overall aim.
In which way did you raise the funds?
Funds were raised by asking each participant for a participation fee of 2 euros plus money collected through cakes, pastries and drinks.
How much were you able to collect by the end of the night?
We are very happy with the outcome - 250 euros were raised. Thanks to all the names above and also the hard work of Naomi, Lien, Chrysa, Thijs, Matthijs, Chiel, and Robin the event was a great success!!
Why did you choose Migrants Matter as fund recipient of this year fundraising?
The choice was easy. Everyone agreed that the cause was worth it, but we also felt that helping out a young organisation was also worthwhile.
A big thanks goes out to Tara, Nathalie, Jan, Eva, Manuel, Ayuka, Naomi, Lien, Chrysa, Thijs, Chiel, Robin and the ninety people who participated in this event. Someone could think that 250 euros is a small amount compared to the hundreds of thousands euros collected by big NGOs or private foundations every year. My answer is that ideas are like whispers…they need to be spread little by little in order to become shouts.
So thank you very much again beautiful people!!!