The Charity Film Awards (en)
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Saving lives is not a crime: Helena's story


Saving countless lives from drowning at sea should make you a hero. In Helena Maleno's case, she faced criminal charges and death threats.

Helena is the head of Caminando Fronteras - a Fund grantee working to protect and promote the rights of migrants in North Africa and the Mediterranean.

Many migrants run into trouble while attempting to cross the sea. Tragically, many don't make it. Helena works to prevent that from happening by running an emergency helpline for migrants crossing, passing on life-saving information to rescue services.

Her interventions have prevented thousands of people from drowning over the years. But instead of being celebrated, she has been harassed, threatened, and wrongly accused of human trafficking.

Yet Helena refuses to stop fighting for migrants' lives - even if it puts her at risk. Her grit and tenacity make her the kind of activist that will move the human rights movement forward.

The Fund is proud to have supported Helena's work since 2015, getting her the critical resources she needs to continue saving lives.

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