What you can do to help Europe’s refugee crisis—even if you’re thousands of miles away.
Image via Wikimedia
While predictions vary, the United Nations forecasts that up to 3,000 migrants a day will pour into Western Europe, over the next few months. Just yesterday, a three-year-old boy, himself a migrant, washed up on shore in Turkey, prompting public outcry and despair. And today, clogged Hungarian trains erupted in chaos. To say the situation is a crisis is, for the victims, an understatement.
Many Americans, most of whom live thousands of miles away from the region, want to know what they can do to ameliorate a crisis that feels simultaneously geographically far but emotionally intimate. After all, some of these migrants are coming from Iraq and Afghanistan—regions and conflicts that our government had a huge hand in shaping, and sometimes, catalyzing. Imagine you’re not an active speaking member of the European Union. What’s the best way you can help? Here’s some options.
Donate money. Probably the easiest and most effective way to contribute, if you’re living tens of thousands of miles away. Make sure to send your donations to organizations that have a proven track record of success, including:
- \nThe International Federation of Red Cross Europe is, amongst other services, providing emergency health services at multiple train stations throughout Italy.
- \nThe International Rescue Committee helps to house thousands of migrants who are migrating to Greece and other European countries.
- \nMigrant Offshore Aid Station helps prevent migrant deaths at sea by putting cruise ships in the ocean that look for boats and migrants.
- \nSave the Children distributes essential supplies such as diapers, food, and hygiene kits.
- \nIslamic Relief provides hygiene for kids, food, and bedding to families in need.
Advocate. Even if you don’t live in Europe, you can help sign international petitions to encourage European governments to become more involved.
Educate. Read the right facts, learn the right facts, then, when you get the right opportunity—share them.