A daily struggle for prisoners of conscience – surviving the cost-of-living crisis

Many of the people we work with live on the margins of society and right now, they need your help. As well as coping with the repercussions of standing up for their human rights, so many of them are contacting us, telling us they’re struggling to survive the cost-of-living crisis.

They’re struggling to feed their families. Struggling to do simple things like turn on the lights in the evening. Struggling to enjoy a day out with their children. Because they just can’t afford to.

With soaring energy prices and the increases in inflation, many prisoners of conscience are just about surviving, and are therefore being prevented from moving on with their lives.

Increases in energy bills, fuel and food prices affect us all, but for the people on the lowest of incomes, price rises mean the difference between just about managing and a day-to-day struggle to survive.

Many of us can turn on the lights or turn on the cooker to cook a hot meal without too much worry and can afford to bear the additional costs that we are all experiencing. But for so many prisoners of conscience, this is just not the case.

These cost-of-living increases are being felt most keenly by those in the UK, like Ali and his family.

We spoke with Ali earlier this week and he tells us that he and his family are living hand-to-mouth, waiting for the next Universal Credit payment to land and often having to loan money from friends to make ends meet, and that the increases in food and energy bills he dreads the most. His children are missing out on social activities because he simply can’t afford to take them anywhere. And he tells us that knowing that things are expected to get worse, puts him under a lot of stress, worrying about how he’s going to provide for his family in the months ahead.

Before coming to the UK, Ali was working as a doctor at Misurata Central Hospital on the coast of Libya where he was treating people who were injured during the war against extremist Islamic groups based in Sirte. He was regularly posting comments on social media about the Islamic groups, their beliefs and his hopes for a democratic Libya that treated all people equally regardless of their race and religion. Ali received messages asking him to stop posting and expressing his views online and he was asked to leave his job at the hospital.

Initially, he did not take these threats seriously, then his brother-in-law was then killed, and a message was sent to Ali saying that if he did not stop what he was doing and give up his work he would face the same destiny as his brother-in-law. Faced with these threats, Ali decided to move his family to safety in the UK and thanks to your generosity, we have been able to support him and his family with two hardship grants, whilst he retrains to be an NHS doctor here.

There’s just no way families like Ali’s can cut back any further, and people are increasingly forced to rely on food banks because once the bills are paid, there is very little left over for food and daily essentials.

The people whom we support need your help now more than ever before, but you can make a difference! We are delighted to be able to tell you about this year’s Summer Big Give.

Thanks to the generosity of two pledgers and Big Give Anchor Funds, this year we have secured match funding of £16,500 available for online donations made between 2pm on Wednesday 29th June and 2pm on Monday 11th July. What this means is, if we manage to raise £16,500 online, this will be matched, making our Summer Big Give income an amazing £33,000!

Please consider making a gift to support us in achieving this target. Any amount you can give will make a difference.

· A donation of £20.00 will help cook a family a hot dinner

· A donation of £75.00 will help towards a family’s fuel bills

· A donation of £250.00 will contribute towards a month’s rent

If you are able to make a donation at this time, it would be very much appreciated – and you can donate in one of the following ways:

donate online via the big give website between 2pm on 29th June and 2pm on 11th July to double your donation!

or donate by posting a cheque or CAF voucher to Prisoners of Conscience PO BOX 61044, London, SE1 1UP  – these donations will NOT be matched

We appreciate that times are tough for everyone right now, but only through your generosity can we help prisoners of conscience like Ali and his family who are struggling to make ends meet this summer. And making a gift today, via the Big Give website, will mean that whatever you are able to spare will be doubled by our champion funders.

Thank you!

Categories: Appeals



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