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
Sep 2, 2015

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
Trending Today
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 14,695 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...
Trump Is a Symptom of a Sickness That Is Raging All Across The World
1 min · 12,282 views today · This is why we are here. And this is what we need to remember. 
What Is My Activism Really About? to Love, Serve and Remember
Tim Hjersted · 5,391 views today · I have made a promise to this world that I will carry with me to my last days. It is my vow to lessen the suffering of the world while I am here - it is to ensure that every...
Escape! From the Cult of Materialism (2016)
50 min · 3,846 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...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 2,223 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Looking Forward to the Day That Nationalism Is as Reviled as Racism
Tim Hjersted · 1,784 views today · Nationalism is a form of geographical racism that makes some lives matter more than others, and explicitly justifies that logic without apology. While today, not even lying...
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 1,737 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
Stunning Photos By Alexander Semenov Showcase The Alien Beauty Of Jellyfish
Earth Porm · 998 views today · Jellyfish appear like beautiful aliens in Alexander Semenov’s photography, calling a new attraction to a magical species of marine life. Alexander Semenov is a marine...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 706 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Supporters 'Ecstatic' After Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning's Sentence
Nika Knight · 691 views today · Whistleblower to be released from military prison in May
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 590 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...
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine · 559 views today · “…everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.” —Arthur Young; 1771 Our popular economic wisdom says that...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 553 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Coping With Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the White House
N Ziehl · 366 views today · I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are...
Positive Thinking in a Dark Age: A Guide to Gracefully Losing Faith in a Collapsing Dominant Culture
Jim Tull · 362 views today · I recall a Buddhist parable involving a stick that appears from a distance to be a snake, causing fear to rise in the perceiver. As the perception shifts upon closer...
10 Female Revolutionaries That You Probably Didn't Learn About In History class
Kathleen Harris · 288 views today · We all know male revolutionaries like Che Guevara, but history often tends to gloss over the contributions of female revolutionaries that have sacrificed their time, efforts...
Watch How Europeans Carved Up African Land They Never Owned
56 min · 286 views today · Watch how Europeans gave away African land they never owned, then expressed anger when Africans resisted. The film is called Africa: A Voyage of Discovery, Episode 6: The...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 262 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 248 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 248 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
5 Things You Can Do To Help Refugees Right Now