5 Things You Can Do To Help Refugees Right Now
Do you despair when people fleeing war, poverty and disasters are met with hostility or indifference? Fed up with the dispassionate and downright inhumane response from governments and the media? You're not alone. Citizens of many countries are taking direct action to help those most in need. Here's how you can get involved.
By Andrew Butler / filmsforaction.org

Support the Migrant Offshore Aid Station

Last year the EU cut its Mediterranean search and rescue budget by two thirds. This year the death toll of those trying to cross the Med is three times higher than last year. Migrant Offshore Aid Station is a privately-funded search and rescue operation which has saved thousands of lives. This year they have teamed up with Médecines Sans Frontiéres (Doctors Without Borders) to further increase their effectiveness. Watch the video below to see them in action and please help them by donating what you can.

 

Offer a Place to Stay

Refugees Welcome has been described as “Airbnb for refugees”. Founded in Germany the online service seeks to put people who have room in their home in touch with a refugee needing somewhere to stay. Working with established refugee organisations, the group will help you fundraise to cover rent if need be, as well as provide continuing support to the homeowner and their guests. Hundreds of people have already signed up. Refugees Welcome currently offer the service in Germany and Austria but are encouraging people to replicate it in other countries. Visit their website to sign-up, learn more or get help with starting a Refugees Welcome site where you live.

 

Feed People

From Food Not Bombs in Budapest distributing warm healthy food made from ingredients donated by the city's food markets, to the Turkish couple who used their wedding celebration to feed 4,000 Syrian refugees (see video below). Food is something we can all help with. Search online to see if there is already a group in your area providing food to those in need. If not, perhaps consider starting one.

 

Help People Cross Borders

Another excellent German initiative, Flucht­helfer (named after those who helped get people across the wall from East to West Berlin) encourages and offers advice to those willing to help people get across Europe, crossing borders they might otherwise struggle to get through. Amongst the excellent advice on offer, they suggest; help one person at a time, who should be seated in the back, and take along a front seat passenger. No money should change hands (to avoid being prosecuted for trafficking) - to be extra careful take as little cash as possible, use cards to pay for fuel. Unlike those who helped people during the cold war, the advice is that those helping today are unlikely to face prosecution and at most might receive a fine.

 

Support People in the “Jungles” of Calais

Many people trying to reach friends, family and people speaking a common language in the UK, get stuck in the French port of Calais where they end up in informal camps called “jungles”. Conditions there are tough and supplies and support are desperately needed. If traveling from the UK look out for deals on ferry crossings (ironically the Daily Mail often have offers for cheap travel to Calais). Wherever you’re coming from, load up a vehicle with supplies and go and give some direct assistance to those in need. Amongst the items requested are:

Tents, tarps, sleeping bags; clothes especially warm jackets and waterproofs; bikes, bike trailers and bike repair stuff; pots, pans, utensils, plates, cups and cutlery; First Aid supplies; books, dictionaries, texts, zines etc – in any and all languages; games and music making, including card games, board games, footballs, basketballs, and any instruments etc; tools; phones, phone chargers and sim cards; digital cameras, useful when documenting encounters with the authorities; and...

YOU, spend time getting to know people, hear their stories, give support and solidarity without judgement. See Calais Migrant Solidarity or London2Calais for more info.

 

4.6 ·
4
What's Next
Trending Today
The Daily Show's Trevor Noah Talks With Conservative Host Tomi Lahren
14 min · 10,349 views today · "Tomi" host Tomi Lahren gives her take on the Black Lives Matter movement and explains why she lashed out against Colin Kaepernick for his national anthem protest.
This Short Film Plays Out Like an Epic Movie That Will Shake Your Soul - But the Movie Is Real, and We are The Actors
6 min · 7,130 views today · For next year, we need a resolution capable of confronting the crisis we face, and making a future worth fighting for. This short film looks back on the crisis and confusion...
Bernie Sanders: Carrier Just Showed Corporations How to Beat Donald Trump
Bernie Sanders · 4,498 views today · We need a president who can stand up to big corporations, not fold to their demands.
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 3,606 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Escape! From the Cult of Materialism (2016)
50 min · 3,439 views today · Does the philosophy of materialism work to destroy our identities, experience, and environment? Join narrator Daphne Ellis on a radical romp through the evidence and decide for...
Who's Really to Blame for Fake News? Look in the Mirror, America.
Neal Gabler · 3,027 views today · Consider for a moment the oxymoronic concept of “fake news,” which we have been hearing so much about lately. This isn’t your typical disinformation or misinformation —...
South Koreans Are Really Good at Protesting
2 min · 3,005 views today · South Koreans organize some of the largest and most peaceful protests in the world. Here's what makes them so good at protesting.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 2,529 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Corporate Giants' "Sustainable" Palm Oil Revealed as Sham
Nika Knight · 2,227 views today · Nestlé, Kellogg's, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and others are linked to child labor and forced labor in Indonesia
A Tribe Called Red and Saul Williams Offer a Powerful Prayer for Standing Rock and Beyond
5 min · 1,374 views today · Music video for "The Virus" by A Tribe Called Red, featuring Saul Williams and Chippewa Travellers.
The 6 Grand Illusions That Keep Us Enslaved
Sigmund Fraud · 1,130 views today · For a magician to fool his audience his deceit must go unseen, and to this end he crafts an illusion to avert attention from reality. While the audience is entranced, the...
The Most Mind-Altering Photograph of All Time
4 min · 1,028 views today · Carl Sagan narrates the story of the Pale Blue Dot, the one place we all call home. 
The Truth About the Alt-Right
11 min · 1,026 views today · Our comprehensive investigation into the Alt-Right movement, including its origins, its relation to the Trump campaign and broader implications for the future. Read more: What...
EU Energy Targets Will 'Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions'
Nafeez Ahmed · 849 views today · New renewable energy plan undercuts itself by boosting dangerous wood-burning industries
Why You Should Stop Using Most Antibacterial Soaps
3 min · 837 views today · Antibacterial soaps could be doing a lot more harm than good - here's why.
The Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy
3 min · 835 views today · What is the best way to ease someone's pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 824 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Answering the Call: The American Struggle for the Right to Vote
75 min · 741 views today · Watch an exclusive and limited time online screening of Answering the Call, presented by Films For Action. If you enjoy watching, consider purchasing a DVD copy for a friend at...
How a Land High in the Western Himalayas Can Help Us Understand The Crisis of The Modern World
9 min · 657 views today · This is a clip from The Economics of Happiness. Watch it here. It's a brilliant film that was easy to put at the top of our list of the top 100 documentaries we can use to...
Gabor Mate on the Myth of Normal
4 min · 577 views today · Physician Dr. Gabor Mate began his interview by addressing the 'myth of normal' that divides us into the normal and the abnormal with pathological traits. Dr. Mate mentions...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
5 Things You Can Do To Help Refugees Right Now