It's no longer possible to rely 100% on ads to keep our organization going. If you believe in why Films For Action exists, we hope you'll become a supporter on Patreon. A monthly donation of $1, $3, $5 or more per month will really help!
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. They have now joined forces with Médecines Sans Frontiéres (Doctors Without Borders) to further increase their effectiveness. Watch the video below to see them in action and please help by making a donation to support their work.

 

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 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.

 

Take Direct Action to Prevent the Forced Removal of Refugees

Even after reaching a country of safety, refugees are subjected to a dehumanising process whereby they are compelled to justify their very existence, undergoing the long and arduous process of getting the right to remain in their chosen home. If they do not meet the criteria (which is often a check-box exercise that fails to take into account the nuances of people's specific circumstances) then they face the threat of deportation, back to a situation where their lives may be in danger. There is now a growing network of community-based organisations that act to keep people safe and in their chosen community. The Anti Raids Network provide legal information to inform people of their rights, alerts when border agency raids look imminent, and mass mobilisation of communities to actively resist raids when they happen. The #StopCharterFlights  campaign aims to intervene to halt mass deportations of people on aircraft chartered by the government. In March 2017 the group successfully took direct action to prevent a charter flight from leaving Stansted Airport in London by locking themselves to a tripod behind the plane. You can read more about that action, the motivations behind it, and the outcome here

4.6 ·
4
Featured Films
The Staging Post: Courageous People Never Give Up! (2017)
61 min The Staging Post follows two Afghan Hazara refugees, Muzafar and Khadim. Stuck in Indonesia after Australia 'stopped the boats' and facing many years in limbo, they built a community and started the school which inspired a refugee education revolution. A real-life...
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the health and well-being of our...
Within Reach (2013)
87 min Within Reach explores one couple's pedal-powered search for a place to call home. Mandy and Ryan gave up their jobs, cars, and traditional houses to 'bike-pack' 6500 miles around the USA seeking sustainable community. Rather than looking in a traditional neighborhood, they...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th century when it forced Native American children into government boarding schools. Today, volunteers...
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face. Over two years, director Matt Anderson traveled 16,000 miles to document firsthand our modern industrial world and the...
The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment. There...
Trending Today


Love Films For Action? Become a Patron!

Our Patreon campaign is now live! We hope you'll be among the first to support this new direction for Films For Action. The goal is to go 100% ad-free by next year and become 100% member supported. A monthly pledge of just $1 -5 per month x a few thousand awesome people will ensure we can continue our work and grow our impact across the world. Click here to join.

Join us on Facebook
5 Things You Can Do to Help Refugees Right Now