“My baby suffers here in this camp.” Those were the words of Taiwo Yussif, the mother of baby Mercy, earlier this spring as she and her toddler waited to be released from a refugee camp in Sicily. “I want it to stop,” she told journalists from France Inter. “We have been here for too long.”
Fast forward to today and little Mercy — the subject of Madame Monsieur’s Eurovision 2018 song — and her mother are now in a much better place. They’ve left the refugee centre, Taiwo is studying Italian so that she can secure a job and young Mercy is attending nursery school. Last month France’s electro-duo finally met with them, sharing stories and plenty of tears.
And now Madame Monsieur are taking things to another level and have shared the link to a GoFundMe page that seeks to raise money for Mercy’s future.
You can make your donations on the GoFundMe web site.
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Les amis, ces derniers mois, beaucoup d'entre vous nous ont demandé comment il était possible de donner un coup de pouce à la petite Mercy et sa maman dans le démarrage de leur nouvelle vie. Ça a pris du temps parce qu'il fallait faire les choses bien, mais aujourd'hui c'est possible! Alors petite ou grande, chaque contribution fera désormais partie du futur qu'elles commencent à construire. C'est fastoche et c'est par ici ? ?? https://www.GoFundMe.com/Mercy ?? Et n'hésitez pas à partager !
“Friends, over the past few months many of you have asked us how it is possible to give a boost to little Mercy and her mom at the start of their new life,” they wrote on Instagram.
“It took time because we had to do things the right way, but today it’s possible. So small or large, each contribution will now be part of the future they start to build.”
It’s a beautiful gesture that shows the duo’s commitment to the child and her mother.
Writing on the GoFundMe site, the duo share a bit of the backstory that Eurovision fans are very familiar with.
“A little more than a year ago we told the story of Mercy in a song that moved a lot of people in France and abroad, until we reach the final of Eurovision on May 12 in Lisbon. We are proposing to collect donations to help little Mercy and her mother.”
“Mercy was born in March 2017 aboard the Aquarius, the humanitarian ship of the SOS Mediterranean NGO, just after her mother was saved from the water.”
“On their arrival in Sicily, they were placed in the largest migrant camp in Europe, where they lived for nearly a year and a half.”
“For a little over a month, thanks to the voluntary work of an association of Sicilian lawyers, Mercy and her mother are finally allowed to look to the future. Mercy will integrate locally and Taiwo will learn Italian.”
“Taiwo has simple dreams: to help her daughter have a good life, send her to school, and find a job. She has experience as a seamstress. Now, Taiwo and Mercy need a boost in this new life.”
Madame Monsieur meet Mercy
Fifteen months after they were moved by her emotional story, Madame Monsieur finally met Mercy in September.
The duo shared their first comments on the meeting in the newspaper Nice Matin, along with a moving image of Émile holding the bouncing toddler.
Still buzzing from their encounter, the electro-pop songstress described the meeting.
“She literally climbed on me, grabbed my neck and stuck her cheek against mine. I did not know what to do — I was petrified by happiness.”