Sam Smith

Sam Smith

Sam brings you the latest stories, interviews and updates about British Red Cross work in Syria, Africa and the Americas.

Posts by Sam Smith:

Refugee crisis: people of the dump

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Refugees FranceQusay has become accustomed to the noise and stench of living next to a landfill site.

Every day, large tipper trucks dump tonnes of household waste about 50 metres from his flimsy tent.

The smell infiltrates your every breath. This is not a place for human habitation.

Yet, just a stone’s throw away from the smouldering piles of waste, a ramshackle camp has become home for Qusay and around 250 people.

You do not have to think too hard to see the symbolism in their surroundings.

Like the rubbish in the dump, they appear to have been discarded by society.

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Syria crisis: “Heartbreaking” scene in Madaya

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Madaya Syria aid

Conditions in the Syrian town of Madaya have been described as “heartbreaking” and “desperate”.

An aid convoy reached the besieged town near Damascus yesterday – the first time aid has been able to get through since October.

Pawel Krzysiek, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was in the convoy.

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Refugee crisis: “We are all the same”

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Refugees-Grande-SyntheOn one side of the road, a French suburban estate with large detached houses and family cars in pristine driveways.

On the other side of the road, armed police stand in front of a dirt track. Scores of muddied refugees, poorly dressed against the wet winter weather, mingle around them.

Welcome to Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk, a place where worlds collide.

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UK floods – tales of hardship and hope

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British Red Cross volunteers are never short of motivation when it comes to helping people in need. And as our chief executive Mike Adamson has been finding out, they have had a particularly busy festive period.

It has been a hugely testing few weeks for communities affected by flooding. It’s difficult to imagine the hardship people are going through.

Countless homes and businesses have been damaged, while roads and bridges have been swept away. There is little we can do to stem the force of the flood waters, but we can help people recover.

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Europe refugee crisis: “I’m so scared I don’t sleep”

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The fear that stalks refugees and migrants travelling through Europe can be greater than the physical pain they endure. As Nichola Jones discovers, tales of desperation and acute humanitarian need abound.

This year’s International Migrants Day is set against a backdrop of the biggest movement of people since the Second World War.

Thousands are living in appalling limbo. Last month, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia closed their borders to all except Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis.

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Syrian families face another long winter

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The renowned heritage site of Palmyra has been etched into worldwide public consciousness recently, but for all the wrong reasons.

While many mourn the loss of its heritage sites, its residents also yearn for their homes.

Myada called Palmyra home for 20 years. The mother-of-four left six months ago.

“We left with nothing and nowhere to go. It’s not safe for us to go back home,” she says.

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Cumbria floods – the clean-up begins

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A cricket club in Carlisle

Homes across the UK are bedecked in festive cheer as people get ready for Christmas.

But there’s far less merriment to be found in areas hit by flooding from Storm Desmond. For these communities, it’s a case of salvaging what they can.

“We were evacuated from our home and an hour later there was fast-flowing water halfway up the front door,” said Robert Bromley, 22, from Kendal.

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