The LÉ Eithne is set for redeployment to the Mediterranean early next week as the migrant crisis in southern Europe continues unabated. While mission preparations are currently underway, crew members have been busy collecting teddy bears and toys for rescued children caught in this incredibly difficult situation.
Since 2015 the Irish Naval Service has been involved in a series of humanitarian operations and over the course of several deployments have been involved with the rescue of nearly 15,000 migrants, many of whom were children. The documentary ‘The Crossing’ released last year brought to light the harrowing scenes and harsh conditions these migrants suffer.
As the LÉ Eithne prepares to return to the Mediterranean, one of the crew members, John Buckley, put out a message on Facebook asking for donations of teddy bears and toys suitable for children.
“Ladies and gents the ship I’m on at the moment is heading to the Mediterranean for 3 months to help out with the migrant situation down there. I’m looking for teddy bears for boys and girls or any thing suitable for kids. If anybody has anything they would like to donate it would be great as we ran out of the toys last time we were down there”, he wrote.
His message spread and people all over the country have donated bears and other items to the Naval Service. Nearly a 1000 bears and toys collected and will give some comfort to the children caught up in crisis.