Five practical ways you can help refugees trying to find safety in Europe

The Independent, 04.09.2015.


A new report from 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.

As European leaders increasingly try to prevent refugees and migrants from settling in the continent, more and more people are dying in their desperation to flee persecution and reach safety.

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

● Red Cross Europe: providing emergency health services at central train stations

● 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

● World Vision: providing food, water, shelter, education and psychosocial care
Get involved with grassroots groups

JustGiving has received more than 2,500 donations from 32 countries for Calais migrant fundraising efforts. Here are just a few of them:

● The Worldwide Tribe in Calais: Travel blog documenting the story of the people in the Calais 'jungle' is also connected to a crowdfunding site

● Glasgow Solidarity with Calais Migrants: Diane and Bob are driving to Calais with supplies

● North East Solidarity with Calais Refugees: Buying food, bedding and warm clothing

● Side by Side: A family in Thurrock helping with basic humanitarian aid

● Association Salam: 19-year-old Tom McElholm is driving to Calais with supplies

● Hummingbird Project: Driving regularly to Calais with nurses, legal aid, food kitchens

● Coach and Horses Soho: raising £5,000 to give the Calais migrants a decent meal
Volunteer, donate, collect

● Calais Migrant Solidarity: organising aid from the UK to those stranded in Calais. Includes details to find local groups for clothes collections and donations here and a UK-based Facebook group

● Doctors of the World: providing care to vulnerable people, advocating for rights to health

● Music Against Borders: appealing for people to donate musical instruments to Calais

● The Jungle Library: makeshift library set up at the camp at Calais. They need more books

● 'Childhood bags': fundraising to take books, toys and warm clothes to children

● Folkestone United: organising protests, taking donated goods to Calais in September

● lobbying local councils, providing language support, housing refugees

● Migrant Offshore Aid Station: dedicated to preventing loss of life at sea

● Sawa for development and aid: working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon
Buy specific items for those who need help

● 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
Put your name to a petition

● The Independent's petition for Britain to accept its fair share of refugees

● Accept more asylum seekers and increase support for refugee migrants in the UK

● 80 Syrian war refugees are waiting in Calais for their rightful and legal asylum in the UK

● Create a compassionate Euro-wide policy to deal with refugee migrants

● End the Calais crisis

● We are willing to house Syrian refugees