In early 2015, Jasmin ‘Jaz’ O’Hara was working in the fashion industry until, one day, her parents decided to adopt a 15-year-old Eritrean boy who made his way into the UK by clinging to the bottom of a Eurostar train. Wanting to help, Jaz and her brother Nils decided to go visit the Calais Jungle, notorious for its squalid conditions. “I wasn’t finding what I wanted to know in the news, there was only dehumanising terminology or wording used about refugees at the time and lots of threatening kind of ideas around the people that were living in Calais and actually the reality of the situation was very different,” tells us the human rights activist.
“That first trip changed my life. Never had I met so many amazing, inspirational, heroic people. People that had been through the worst trauma, yet still welcomed us with open arms. People who lived in tents in the mud with nothing, but still they shared cups of tea, the little food they had, and their stories with us", she writes.
Shocked and emotional, Jaz went back home knowing she had to do something. A simple Facebook post that explained what had happened and a small reminder for people that she was now taking donations for next time. She could have never imagined that a single post on Facebook would sign the start of her journey and her mission – a small post that was later shared by thousands of people, reaching millions.
“That one post sparked a movement of people wanting to donate, to volunteer, to get involved in any way that they could,” she continues. “Not only were we met with an overwhelming amount of physical donations of stuff, we were inundated by care, concern and love. And so began The Worldwide Tribe.”
What they do is producing creative content about migrant stories to bring a personal, human perspective to the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time, the Refugee Crisis. “We use film, photography and storytelling to raise awareness and in turn, support grassroots projects making a direct impact to people on the ground. We believe that the world is getting smaller. It’s time to come together regardless of race, nationality, gender, religion or language, as one global community of international citizens,” the website reads.