4 Practical Ways You Can Help Refugees Trying to Find Safety in Europe

A new report from the United Nations refugee agency states that more than 2,500 refugees have died or gone missing this year while crossing the Mediterranean Sea in the hopes of reaching safety. As European leaders continue to try and prevent refugees from settling in Europe, more and more people are dying in their desperation to flee violence and conflict, and reach safety.

Here are some of the ways you can help at home.

  1. Donate: We need to focus on Syria to address the refugee crisis. Irish NGO GOAL  have been working in Syria since October 2012.  GOAL’s programme in Syria has since become the largest in their history. By supporting populations within the borders GOAL are indirectly reducing the pressure on neighboring countries. In turn, these neighboring countries have hosted very large numbers of refugees in recent years (conservatively estimated at two million in Turkey, 1.1 million in Lebanon and 600,000 in Jordan). Donate Now.
  2. Join your local Solidarity Group: Solidarity Groups are spreading across Ireland like wildfire, with one appearing in every town and city. Drop off points for supplies are being arranged at warehouses, garden centres, yoga studios and people’s homes. Supplies will be shipped in a convoy leaving Cork on September 30th. A list of the supplies that are still needed can be found on the Cork Calais Refugee Solidarity Group. Find your local group and get involved. (Phone numbers and areas below)

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  1. Challenge Stereotypes We deride them as ‘migrant’, but why not call them people? Al Jazeera English has announced it will no longer use the word ‘migrants’ but ‘refugees’, in the context of desperate women,  men and children trying to enter Europe by the Mediterranean. The broadcaster’s online editor, Barry Malone, says: “It is not hundreds of people who drown when a boat goes down in the Mediterranean, nor even hundreds of refugees. It is hundreds of migrants. The umbrella term migrant is no longer fit for purpose when it comes to describing the horror unfolding in the Mediterranean….Migrant is a word that strips suffering people of voice”.
  2. Call on the Irish Government to commit to increasing the number of refugees allowed into Ireland. The government’s response to this crisis has been dismal. They have offered to relocate just 600 people over 2 years, surely Ireland can do so much more? We need to go all in to get the government to agree to significantly raise this number. We need Enda Kenny to offer refuge to thousands, not hundreds of people seeking refuge in Europe. You can sign a petition / letter to Enda Kenny here
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