In 2021,Lighthouse Cares rolled out Charity of the Month, a monthlyprogramdesigned to enableemployees to nominate andeducate their colleagues on important charities in their lives. Following the nomination period, employees vote for the charity that will receive a $1,000 donation from Lighthouse Cares.
For September's Charity of the Month, Michael Brown, Managing Director of EMEA Sales at Lighthouse, nominated Safe Passage, a nonprofit campaigning for and helping child refugees access legal routes to safety. Michael's nomination of Safe Passage was in solidarity with his wife, Anna, and her attempt to swim the English Channel to raise funds for the charity. Only 1,881 people have successfully completed the English Channel solo swim, which takes an average of 13.5 hours in frigid water with extreme tidal currents—and only 35% of those have been female. What happened next was astounding.
Anna's swim began in the early morning of September 16th and Michael, in a boat alongside her, continued to share updates with Lighthouse employees via Microsoft Teams. Employees sent messages of support for Michael to share with Anna as she was taking in liquids next to the boat duringher journey letting her know she wasn't alone. In the end, Anna was able to successfully complete her mission and clear the water on a French beach at exactly 13 hours and 52 minutes.
Lighthouse employees rallied together to vote for Safe Passage in support of Anna's mission, earning an additional £739 (or $1,000 USD) from Lighthouse Cares. In total, Anna was able to raise £4,530 in support of Safe Passage.
After Anna was able to warm up and have some well-deserved fish and chips, she sent the Lighthouse Cares Committee a note of gratitude highlighting her rationale for choosing Safe Passage as the recipient of her fundraising:
I would like to send my huge thanks to the Lighthouse Cares team for choosing Safe Passage as the charity of the month. I am so grateful and humbled by all the support that has been sent my way throughout the Channel swim. It's has been one big adventure, successful for me personally to achieve my dream but to also support Safe Passage in their endeavour to help more child refugees in the current crisis in Afghanistan.
It brings me on to explain why I chose to raise funds for this charity. As a mother myself, I feel desperately worried for child refugees that travel from their country unaccompanied to seek refuge or family members in safer more stable countries. Currently there are thousands of children alone, making this journey, who are in an extremely vulnerable situation. Safe Passage came to my attention whilst researching charities that help those in such vulnerable situations. Many of these children seeking refuge also make the perilous journey across the English Channel which is an extremely dangerous and unforgiving sea. This Channel has deep tidal and undercurrent swells that without excellent and knowledgeable navigation can quickly become perilous. Children making this journey alone is beyond comprehension and this plight needs to be highlighted to Governments and decision makers by Safe Passage, who are the voice for these children.
A representative from Safe Passage provided additional details pertaining to the organization's recent focus on the crisis in Afghanistan:
The situation in Afghanistan has a huge bearing on our work. The UN predicts as many as 500,000 Afghans will become refugees this year as a result of the present crisis. The UK government has committed to resettling 5,000 Afghan refugees this year, which does little to meet the need, and the details of how individuals will be referred into the scheme remain unclear. Meanwhile other legal pathways to the UK are difficult to access following the evacuation and practical difficulties of the lack of a UK Embassy in Kabul.
Already 40% of Safe Passage's legal caseload were Afghan children, rising to 70% of cases we assist to access family reunion between France and UK. We expect the number of Afghans arriving in Europe to rise as a result of the current crisis in the coming year, with a ripple effect on the number of people taking a dangerous journey across Europe to reach the UK.
This month we've received 200+ enquiries from people desperate to support loved ones fleeing the Taliban. So, we have set up an urgent project with 14 law firms to meet the need, providing advice and eventual representation. However, we know this situation is going to have an effect for years, so your help is sorely needed.
An example of recent work we have done is highlighting the issues relating to accessing family reunion for Afghan relatives still in Afghanistan, which was covered in an article in The Independent.
For 25 years, Lighthouse has provided software and services to manage the increasingly complex landscape of enterprise data for compliance and legal teams. Lighthouse leads by developing proprietary technology that integrates with industry-leading third-party software, automating workflows, and creating an easy-to-use, end-to-end platform. Lighthouse also delivers unique proprietary applications and advisory services that are highly valuable for large, complex matters, and a new SaaS platform designed for in-house teams. Whether reacting to incidents like litigation or governmental investigations, or designing programs to proactively minimize the potential for future incidents, Lighthouse partners with multinational industry leaders, top global law firms, and the world’s leading software provider as a channel partner. For more information, visit lighthouseglobal.com.