[EN] There are many people with rotten hearts out there. If you're not one of them, you can still make this world better. Just act :) Since two years, I've been involved in (unfortunately) only passively helping refugees (read about in a post). However, my approach towards this issue has changed. As my friend put it, donating a pair of socks is important too, but there are other ways to help people in need. The refugees coming to Europe need all sorts of support, but in my opinion, 'time-donation' is the most crucial. In order to make it easier for these people to integrate, they need us to show them how we live here, they need to learn our languages so that they can effortlessly find a job later on. Because the exile of thousands to Europe is a fact, it is our role now to welcome these people and not separate them from us. In that way, all of our lives would be much easier :) I am sharing some of ideas on how to help refugees.
I - MEET A REFUGEE IN PERSON
Don't just talk about 'refugees' in general. You probably already have an idea about 'them' and to change that, meet a person. You won't be able to meet and help all of them. Focus on one person or family and support them.
Below you will find a recap of my encounter with Fadhuma & Youseph.
I met them thanks to Hania, who runs a page Illegal Friends.
Youseph’s family cooked dinner for us and we donated money for them. They need all sorts of support, including the material one. Youseph’s parents are Persian-speakers from Afghanistan. He himself is deaf. Same as his grandmother who came together with the family and is one of the loveliest person ever.
Fadhuma comes from Somalia, is hyperactive and helps others (mainly by coaching and motivating them). About her activity you can read on her FB page (How To Get Up On Your Feet) and on her blog https://getuponyourfeet.wordpress.com/.
Here is what she has written about it herself:
‘Refugees come to German without information about asylum procedure and process, they are required to prepare themselves on how to survive in this difficult moment. Material support alone does not help. Most of the Refugees are very much disappointed and discouraged. Motivation is basically a psychological support which helps people to go forward to the desired goals and dreams. Motivation is part of an essential progress that contributes to better human development. Change Agent is required.’
II - GET INVOLVED AS A VOLUNTEER
There are many organizations already helping refugees. You can call them and ask if/where/when they need some help. E.g. I called Moabit hilft! (check out many updates on events on their website) and was told that the biggest help is needed in the mornings - to sort clothes, serve food in the canteen etc.
III- EDUCATE YOURSELF & SPREAD THE WORD
Don't repeat what you heard/read something, somewhere. Stick to the facts and learn about them. The situation changes constantly, so the best way to have a clear overview on what is hapenning is to educate yourself.
Here are some useful links in case you don't know how to start:
IV- MORE IDEAS:
- by Finding Berlin
- by The Local