The refugee crisis and what you can do
I wanted to make today about the upcoming "YMM-ival weekend" and all the fun and spirit that both the YMMiFF and Sustainival will bring to Fort McMurray, I wanted to write about how the play is coming along. I can't. Not today.
WARNING! Graphic images
Right now, an estimated 60 MILLION PEOPLE are running for their lives. Running from war, conflict and persecution. I urge you to stop for a second here. Imagine this number. Think of the town you grew up in, your school, your neighborhood. How many towns, schools, hoods are gone? How many empty houses and classrooms? Gone. Sweden is gone, with its tiny number of 10 million. Canada is gone, too.
Over 300 000 refugees and immigrants has arrived in Europe by crossing the Mediterranean sea, most of them landing in Greece. 68% of them are fleeing the war in Syria. As the EU's borders are closed traffickers hide refugees in trucks. In late August, 71 people were found dead in an abandoned truck on an Austrian highway. Four of them were children. Never have I been more ashamed of being European or Swedish - never. People are dying, fleeing, needing our help and humanity; what do we do? Put up barbed wire. THESE ARE PEOPLE!
2500 are estimated to have drowned or disappeared in the Mediterranean sea.
There hasn't been this many refugees since WWII. The situation is horrific, and while we're discussing politics and money ("who's responsibility is this crisis? Do you know how much refugees cost? Someone else should do something!") while we dehumanize and demonize - people are dying. Children are dying. Small children are drowning and their bodies washed ashore.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has a dedicated fund to refugees of the Syrian crisis right now. They provide health care, vaccinations, shelter and wells.
The Migrant Offshore Aid Station is at the front lines of the crisis. The agency is made up of humanitarians and marine officers, and tries to save migrants in distress in the Mediterranean. International donations can be made in U.S Dollars by PayPal or Bitcoin.
Migration Aid is providing acute care to refugees in Hungary, providing food and water, as well as hygiene items. Though they can’t accept donations directly, they have an agreement with a Pharmacy in Budapest that directly supports their work.
World Vision has a fund dedicated to Syrian refugees. The money goes toward basic needs like food, diapers for babies and “psychosocial support.”
The Canadian Red Cross has set up a Syria Crisis Fund. The money is channeled towards “life-saving assistance to Syrian families,” according to the organization’s website.
(Source: Globe and Mail)