Charity of the Month // Amnesty International & how to help refugees
Last month, I chose Amnesty International for my charity spotlight, based on the refugee crisis. Just 30 days ago, I found it difficult to find information and images to use in my post. Needless to say, that's not the case now. While I'm glad that the refugees are finally getting the media attention- and compassion- they so desperately need, there is still a lot more to be done. Because of this, I've decided to keep Amnesty International as my featured charity throughout September. Alongside my support for Amnesty International, I'll also include other ways to help the refugees across Europe and beyond.
WHY I SUPPORT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
By now, we've all seen the images of little Aylan Kurdi, the three year old boy who was found washed up on a beach in Turkey. This heartbreaking image seems to be the wake up call that the UK has so desperately needed, and yet Aylan is not alone. Let's not forget that his five year old brother Ghalib also died, as well as 10 other people on their boat. 71 refugees were found dead in a lorry on an Austrian motorway. More than 2600 Syrians have drowned alone this year. Last year, the toll was over 3500.
We need to do something. We cannot just sit back and watch more people die. People who are so desperate to leave their home country that they will not only risk their own lives but also their family's lives in the hope of finding somewhere safe to live. They are searching, trekking over 110 miles, for the most basic of needs, those that we take for granted: Somewhere where they are not in danger of being killed; somewhere where they have warm, dry shelter; somewhere where they can access water, food and healthcare.
While David Cameron claims taking on more refugees is not the answer and that we can only take on 4000, across Europe schools, monastries and even ex-concentration camps are being used as makeshift refugee shelters. There is more we can do. Labour's Yvette Cooper has suggested every area could take on just 10 refugee families. Think how many people we could accommodate if we did that.
It's easy to see numbers and forget that these are human lives. Aylan Kurdi is a symbol of all the lives that have been lost. Every single refugee is a daughter or son, a mother or father, a husband or wife, a grandparent, a friend. It is only by chance that we were lucky enough to be born in safety and security, and we have a moral duty to help those who weren't.
WAYS TO HELP REFUGEES
In recent weeks, a huge amount of campaigns have sprung up that enable everyone to help the refugees in some way:
- If you can make it to London next weekend, Amnesty have organised a solidarity march on 12th September.
It seems as though things are finally shifting. An Amazon wishlist set up to allow people to buy items for refugee camps has had so many donations that it's had to close and in Finchley, one of the first drop-off points to be set up is completely full. Despite all the good that is happening, we cannot get complacent. We need to keep pushing to prevent further tragedies and to help everyone reach a better life.