One of my first questions, as soon as I was made aware of the magnitude of the crisis, was how to help the Syrian refugees?!
To my discredit, I remained largely in ignorance until the photo of Aylan Kurdi appeared. Regardless of your stance on the appropriateness of the photo, I am confident of your compassion for the victims. You may not be in a position to help right now, but would you kindly pin or share this post on Facebook for those who can?
I think my favourite organisation in the refugee crisis is MOAS – Migrant Offshore Aid Station. They scour the Mediterranean Sea looking for refugees in distress who are trying to escape persecution by crossing the waters in unsafe vessels. There are 11,124 lives saved so far.
MOAS was founded in 2013 by the Malta-based Catrambrone family following the drownings of 400 refugees near the island of Lampedusa. In their words, they “hope that the humanitarian initiative will inspire others globally, and help dispel what Pope Francis calls the “globalisation of indifference”.
You can read all about their efforts – and donate – by clicking here.
There is an influx of refugees in Calais, which is the French town bordering the English Channel. You might have heard about the incident last week where the Eurostar was held up for five hours – all the passengers stuck inside without air conditioning, lights, or communication – because refugees were climbing on top of the Eurostar, hoping to break into the train wagons.
However, despite this incident and the mixed reactions it engendered, the majority of the local French people support the refugees camped in Calais in whatever way they can. If you can read French, they share about their efforts here.
CalAid gives you a chance to donate money, or to order specific items from Amazon and send them directly to Calais. You can use Amazon UK if you want to send things this way, but need an English interface. Please see the list of highly needed items below.
LE VESTIAIRE DES MIGRANTS’
2 Rue de Croy
Here’s what they said on their website. Keep in mind that the men outnumber women and children 10 to 1 at the moment so they are desperate for men’s items.
What we BADLY need:
SHOES: trainers or hiking shoes size 41-46
TENTS, COVERS, TARPAULIN
JACKETS: size SMALL and MEDIUM only
CANDLES or other lighting implements
What we ALWAYS need:
Jeans size 28-32
What we DO NOT need:
WOMEN and CHILDREN’S CLOTHES or SHOES
I’m not sure how many of my readers are located in France, but for those who are interested, you can house refugees for a period of time, which is determined by you – usually between two weeks and nine months. The organisation is called Singa, and the FAQ sheet (in French) will answer most of the questions you might have. It’s here. You can also make a donation and support them financially.
If you prefer donating to large organisations, one NGO that’s dedicated to this crisis in particular is the UN Refugee agency: UNHCR. They are onsite with basic care and medical assistance, and you can read about what they do, and donate by clicking here.
Medecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) is another large NGO. They are all-around amazing as an organisation, and with the refugee crisis in particular, they are doing both search and rescue on the Mediterranean Sea, as well as reception and assistance for the camps in Greece, Italy, Hungary and more. You can read about their work and donate by clicking here.
Finally, there is a huge resource in the Kos Kindness Facebook page, which you’ll find here. They are located in Greece, and are asking for donations to help the refugees, including – but not limited to – baby carriers that will allow parents to carry their children greater distances.
You can donate items directly to them, either through Amazon.co.uk, or by sending any items in your home that correspond to their “need” list (located on the page). They make it really easy by compiling a wishlist on Amazon right here!
This is their mailing address: (And for those not familiar with international addresses, the last line is a phone number and the 85300 is the zip.
So. What have we, the Goutets, been doing? 🙂
Well I’m mostly keeping all of that between me and God. But I will tell you of one thing. The Anglophone community in France has been amazing as both a wealth of knowledge and for continous, generous aid.
A brave woman named Linsey drove to my house, 35 weeks pregnant, to bring my donations to where a guy named Richard would store them in his garage. Tomorrow he’s going to drive them directly to Calais. So we were able to give very useful things, such as old sleeping bags, men’s clothes, soaps and medicines, and sundry items. My friend Céline brought some of her things over as well.
It’s amazing to be able to help. We count on our children receiving the bare minimum in life – safety, shelter, medical care, schooling …
No. I’d say we count on them receiving more than that. We want them to have everything! We want them to have creative expression,
love, friendship, and respect,
hope and a future.
The mothers and fathers who are fleeing the butchery in their homeland by any desperate measure that presents itself — they are hoping for a future too.
Thank you for reading and sharing. I also invite you to leave any further links or information in the comments that you think might be helpful. Hugs.