Refugee crisis: 4 things you can do to help

1. Sign a petition

Call on World Leaders to Turn the Lights Back on for Syria:

Petition to the UK Government: The UK is not offering proportional asylum in comparison with European counterparts. We can’t allow refugees who have risked their lives to escape horrendous conflict and violence to be left living in dire, unsafe and inhumane conditions in Europe. We must help.

Petition local government: Someone in my local area has set up  “Refugees Welcome in Oldham” and I’d be grateful if you could add your name. Investigate if anybody has set up a petition in your locality and if not, create one yourself!

2. Attend an event

UK – London – National Day of Action

UK – Glasgow Sees Syria

UK – Edinburgh Sees Syria

European Day of Action for Refugees

Canada – several locations – Refugees welcome (Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, St Johns, Toronto, Victoria, Vancouver)

United States – Seattle

Australia – several locations – Light the Dark (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide)

3. Volunteer, donate, collect

Reading lots of stories of people moved into action over the refugee crisis. It gives me some hope and faith that there are a lot of good people in this country. My wife is one of them. She’s not asking much; just for some bin bags!
If you’d like to donate some bin bags, but you’re not sure of the best we to do it, just let me know:

Doctors of the World: providing care to vulnerable people, advocating for rights to health

White Helmets: volunteer recue workers who risk their lives to save families and children fleeing the violence lobbying local councils, providing language support, housing refugees (UK)

Migrant Offshore Aid Station: dedicated to preventing loss of life at sea

Sawa for development and aid: working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon

An Amazon wish list has been set up for people to buy specific items such as shoes and sleeping bags to be delivered to Calais as part of the appeal #KentforCalais and #HelpCalais. The truck leaves on 17 September

4. Make a financial donation

A number of charities and non-governmental organisations have opened appeals specifically aimed at helping the plight of refugees. Various organisations spell out exactly what a specific donation could provide. Here’s a sample:

Migrant Offshore Aid Station: The charity which runs independent rescue boats to rescue migrants at risk of drowning has seen a huge spike in donations since pictures of the drowned Syrian boy emerged.

Médecins Sans Frontières: The humanitarian agency has three rescue ships in the Mediterranean, on Tuesday alone they rescued 1,658 people in its biggest day of operations.

Aylan Kurdi Fund: A specific fund named in honour of the drowned boy was set up within 24 hours of the circulation photographs of his body emerging. All proceeds will go to the humanitarian agency Hand in Hand for Syria.

Refugee Council: A donation of £100 could pay for the education and travel for two children for a week.

Unicef: The UN’s children’s charity is providing life-saving supplies such as clean water, medicine and psychological support. It says a donation of £9 could provide an emergency water kit for a family.

Save the Children: It says a donation of £50 could buy two hygiene kits including soap, towels and toothbrushes.

British Red Cross: A donation of £30 could buy 28 mats to help Syria refugees cope with the cold.

Islamic Relief: Three families could be fed for a month on a donation of £210, the charity says.

The crowdfunding website Just Giving has a list of specific appeals for migrants in Calais. It includes one of students trying to raise £750 to buy mobile phones, footballs, camping equipment, dictionaries, storage boxes, sanitary items and waterproof clothing.

The UNHCR is running camps, providing shelter and aid to refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, as well as helping refugees across Europe.

International Rescue Committee: Improving living conditions by setting up camps.

This list isn’t exhaustive — there are many more worthy organisations and events that can use support right now. Please be as generous as you can.


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