A statement by director Carmen Mendoza Arroyo regarding the COVID-19 crisis

As a master program for which humanitarian crisis is our raison d’etre,  the COVID-19 crisis arrives to us with the added distress that it touches us closely. It affects us through a change of our way of living, working, relating, and requires actions which are simple to achieve in our European context, such as staying at home, washing our hands, and no socialization. However, as with any crisis, we are afraid of our wellbeing and of those we care for.

In this perspective, as a team, it reminds us of what so many people face every day, in protracted crisis, and which leads them to such distressful moments. Therefore, in times like these, let’s show our ‘solidarity towards the most vulnerable’ as Antonio Guterres states – solidarity with our vulnerable, sick and elderly, but also with those that already have lost everything and whose lives are at stake in terrible camps and informal settlements all over the world. More importantly, let’s remember them when they flee, and disrupt their way of life by not being with their families due to fear, and in search for their physical and mental wellbeing.

We are staying home and facilitating our current students through online supervisions and staff meetings in order to face this crisis that affects every one of us.

I wanted to share this wonderful reflection published by our colleague and professor of our program, Gonzalo Sánchez-Terán:

Europa, marzo de 2020

Ahora que tememos por los nuestros,
por los padres ancianos que están solos
y no hay cómo abrazar, por nuestros hijos,
sin saber cuándo volverán a un aula,
por la salud de todos y el derecho
a que vivir no sea una amenaza,

 europeos, decidme, si, decidme,
¿podréis volver a condenar a quienes
huyen en busca de la paz, y cruzan
mares y lindes para que sus hijos
crezcan sin daño en una escuela digna,
quienes intentan enviar dinero
a padres que no pueden abrazar?

Europeos, ¿podréis volver, el día
que salgáis sin temor de vuestras casas,
podréis volver a echar y denigrar
y acosar a quien, cual vosotros hoy,
siente, por él y por los suyos, miedo?

Gonzalo Sánchez-Terán

Europe, March 2020

Now that we fear for our own,
now that our elderly parents are alone
and there is no way to hug them, for our children,
not knowing when they will be back in the classroom,
for the health of all and the right
to live without a threat,

Europeans, tell me, yes, tell me,
will you be able to condemn those
fleeing in search for peace, and cross
seas and borders for their children
to grow without harm and with a decent school,
those that try to send money
to parents which they cannot hug?

Europeans, will you, the day
you go out without fear from your homes,
will you once again throw out and denigrate
and harass those, that like you today,
feel fear, for themselves and for their own? 

Gonzalo Sánchez-Terán


Image: Balcony in Modena, Italy, March 2020, by Frizio Annovi (all rights reserved)

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