Once you’re aware of the injustice going on within Europe and throughout the world, once you are informed, what do you do?
Sitting at home feeling powerless? It doesn’t need to be that way, YOU ARE SO POWERFUL!
This year has seen an incredible and unprecedented global response from YOU, yes Joe Blogs I’m looking at you!
And it doesn’t end there… not only has the volunteer response saved lives in Lesvos, it continues to save lives and impact change throughout Europe in almost every European city, and throughout fantastic projects in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Individuals such as Ana Jorge and Zora O'Neil have created an online platform that 100,000+ people are plugged into, harnessing social media and using it to coordinate a huge humanitarian effort.
So how can you help refugees?
1) Share, like and WRITE! Social media is an amazing tool for debate, advocacy and sharing information. That image that made you sit-up and take notice – could you share it? Does your Facebook circle know what’s happening in Greece today? Could you find a creative way of getting a particular poignant story out? - Don’t think you’ll make a difference? – Our incredible friend Jaz and founder of The Worldwide Tribe raised over 200,000GBP from ONE Facebook post. Money that has changed and saved the lives of countless refugees and continues to do so. That could be you.
2) Volunteer your time from home! – A number of grassroots organisations such as ourselves have begun in response to a need. We are reactive and adaptable on the ground meaning we can impact change quickly, but unfortunately there’s no way of getting away from the ‘behind the scenes’ work. Multiple volunteer organisations are in need of marketing, fundraising, admin and tech support. Do you want to help, but can’t get away? Why not offer a couple of hours of your time to help a team to develop behind the scenes. You will be enabling them to be even more efficient on the ground and further the impact.
3) Volunteer your time abroad! – Do you have two weeks+ and are looking for something more substantial than the bottom of a rum bottle and deserted beach? Do you have a particular set of skills that you know would help those in need (particularly legal, medical and translation skills)? There are volunteering opportunities throughout Europe and the Middle East, the longer you can commit the better.
4) Donate! – Our small organisation is one of many that is reliant on public funding. Grassroots organisations are passionate about creating a real difference, but also about doing it the right way. There are no large salaries, no huge PR and marketing budgets, your donations buy what’s needed. If you are looking to fund something specific, ask around, we’re all happy to help you fund a cause close to your heart! The incredible impact that’s been made on the ground by our brothers and sisters at Help Refugees, Calais Action, The WorldWide Tribe, Better Days for Moria and ourselves at RefuAid has been done so thanks to incredibly generous individual donations.
5) Organise an event! - Why not organise a fundraiser? Live music, story-telling, bring-a-pot, clothes and cake sales, black-tie events. There are so many creative and incredible ways to raise money and awareness. If you want to organise a fundraiser but need any advice or support, please feel free to get in touch!
6) Buddy! – The شبكة أصدقاء اللاجئين Refugee Buddy Network is always looking for people to join and assist in supporting newly settled refugees in your area, get involved and make some new friends.
7) Lobby - write to your MP, find a local group working on increasing the agreed resettlement numbers in your area. Find more information out at: www.theyworkforyou.com
The individual has an INCREDIBLE capacity to do good, you don’t even have to leave your front door. In the face of so much hurt and angst throughout the world, let’s lead by setting an example we can believe in.
Most days we feel powerless against the huge decisions made by our governments, but it’s misguided. We, you, are not powerless.
Consider doing something today!!