Migrar, migrant, migràrem

Sea-Eye Search and Rescue missions in the Mediterranean and how GNU Health can help them

The title of this article, “Migrar, migrant, migràrem“, comes from a beautiful poem written by Laia Porcar[1], that inspired the strikingly profound painting by Sara Belles [2] “Jo per tu, fill meu“. The artists reflect the migrants ordeal to provide a better life to their children and families, even at the cost of losing their own lives.

GNU Health[3] is a Social project with some technology behind and the mission at Sea-Eye is one of the best examples. After all, GNU Solidario[4] is a NGO that focuses in the advancement of Social Medicine.

We live a world of injustice. Concentration of power, social gradient and poverty rates keep on the rise. Artificial intelligence is on the hands of mega private corporations, targeting our privacy and feeding the macabre business of war. The fight for scarce natural resources such as lithium or coltan creates coups in impoverished countries. Nature and non-human animals are used and abused as mere commodities. Our world turns a blind eye to the systematic crushing and eradication of civilian population by powerful armies. As a result, we live in a world where migration is not a choice, but the only way out for millions of human beings, even at the risk of becoming anonymous victims in the Atlantic ocean or Mediterranean sea mass graveyards.

“Jo per tu, fill meu”, by Sara Belles

But there is hope. The Sea-Eye mission is the end result of a network of solidarity, cooperation and empathy. The Free Software movement started by Richard Stallman[5]; Julian Sassenscheidt message in Mastodon and his presentation at GNU Health Con 2023[6] ; The work of our representative in Germany, Gerald Wiese; the Chaos Computer Club[7]; the team from L’Aurora[8] providing logistic support to the Search and Rescue vessels; the phenomenal Sea-Eye family who made me feel at home: The cook, crew on deck, the logistics and medical team who stood stoically intensive hours of GNU Health training. Of course, Selene, the heart of GNU Solidario and the one that looks after the human and non-human family members while I’m away.

You will hardly see these people in the news, because most corporate-backed media neglect them and their organizations. Unlike some billionaire “philanthropists” that take the media spotlight, these anonymous heroes stand on the right side of history, making a difference on the present and future of those who need it most, with very limited resources.

Collage of several pictures during my stay at the Sea-eye

We’re very happy and proud to see that GNU Health can be of help to Sea-Eye in tasks such as guests registration, health evaluations, reporting, statistics and stock management. This is just the beginning and we will be optimizing and adding functionality on successive missions. That said, GNU Health will always play a secondary role compared to picking up somebody from the water and giving them a welcoming hug. Again, we’re a social project with a bit of technology behind.

Drawings made by the children rescued at the Sea-eye

I’d like to finish with a reflection on the picture I took to some of the drawings done by children during their stay at the Sea-Eye. The drawings exist because the Sea-eye crew rescued those kids. Otherwise, their corpses would be at the bottom of the Mediterranean sea, along with thousands who tragically perished trying to find dignity in this world. Thank you, Sea-eye. You are priceless.

A final note: shame on those countries and governments that detain and punish Search and Rescue vessels. Saving lives is not a crime.

Love, freedom and happy hacking

You can obtain Sara Belles painting and Laia Porcar poem from L’Aurora solidarity shop[8]

  1. Laia Porcar : https://laravalerateatre.com/qui-som/
  2. Sara Belles . https://sarabelles.es/
  3. The GNU Health project. https://www.gnuhealth.org
  4. GNU Solidario. Advancing Social Medicine https://www.gnusolidario.org
  5. The GNU Operating System. https://www.gnu.org
  6. Search and rescue on the central Mediterranean migratory route . https://https://www.gnuhealthcon.org/2023/presentations/GHCon2023-Friday-07-Julian_Sassenscheidt-Search_and_rescue_on_the_central_Mediterranean_migratory_route.pdf
  7. The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) . https://www.ccc.de/en/
  8. L’Aurora suport. https://aurorasuport.org/