The shocking situation of migrants in camps and crossing Europe has really made us look into what we can do to help. We’ve put together some information and links to what individuals can do, and will be urging local politicians to take what action they can too.
The United Nations refugee agency says that more than 2,500 migrants and refugees have died or gone missing this year while crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
Last year Britain accepted 216 people under a scheme to relocate the most vulnerable refugees, and almost 5,000 Syrians had been granted asylum in the last four years.
Here are five top ideas, and lots more information below too:
1. Donate essential items
2. Give money
Red Cross Europe: provides emergency health services at central train stations.
3. Shop on Amazon
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. Sign a petition
Over 380,000 people have signed this petition to the government in the last few days.
5. Write to your local MP
We have three MPs in Wandsworth and if you could write and urge them to take action locally and to support refugees abroad this will show how many of their consituents think this issue is important. Write to your MP here.
More information and ideas:
Make a donation
Make a financial donation to a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that is doing related humanitarian work overseas. These could include:
- Save the Children: distributing essential items such as nappies, hygiene kits and food
- Migrant Offshore Aid Station: dedicated to preventing migrant deaths at sea
- International Rescue Committee: improving living conditions by setting up camps
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): providing water, mosquito nets, tents, healthcare
- Refugee Action: advice about claiming asylum, the asylum process, asylum support
Volunteer, fundraise, collect
- Doctors of the World: providing care to vulnerable people, advocating for rights to health
- Sawa4Syria: working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon
- Raise funds to provide basic necessities for some of the refugees on the Greek island of Kos.
- Help out in Calais itself: map of donation points for refugees in Europe, organise a local donation drop, organise a convoy, contact organisations already working in Calais
- Sign The Independent’s petition for Britain to accept its fair share of refugees
- Sign the petition: 80 Syrian war refugees are waiting in Calais for their rightful and legal asylum in the UK
- Say if you are willing to house Syrian refugees
- National Day of Action: March to Downing Street on Saturday, September 12 at 12 noon. Assemble at Marble Arch.
- Write to your MP