Easy ways to help migrants in Europe
Every day the news on TV, news websites and social media are filled with stories about the easy ways to help migrants in Europe and about the crisis this has created, which in fact is getting worse day by day. Over 400,000 people have entered Greece just in 2016, mainly arriving frοm the Middle East and North Africa and most of them are still waiting in border camps for applications of asylum.
Many of those poor people that were forced to leave their places and families are trying to find shelter and food around Greece, and if they are fortunate enough to leave the country, they do the same around other European countries, in an effort to start a new life again.
Unfortunately, over 3,500 people have died in an attempt to seek refuge from poverty or unrest. This all has caused a lot of talks and debates between governments in Europe but the problem still remains and these people are desperately in need of assistance. I believe there are things we can do ourselves as European citizens to improve the life of these people and even save some lives. I am talking about simple, little things that everyone can do.
Donate some money to international organizations
There are many international organizations like UNICEF, Doctors Without Frontiers, the Red Cross, Save the Children etc. that help migrants all around Greece and around the world. These organizations are in need of money to cover their costs and expenses and continue to operate.
There are also many local organizations and Non Profit Organizations that support this cause in various easy ways, like sending volunteers with rescue boats to save people from drowning, buy food and medicine, build shelters etc.
Offer food and supplies
If you do not want to donate money, there are many other things that are necessary to provide. Food, toys and clothes are the top priority. There are city services around Greece that gather specific types of donations and then transport them to refugee camps or where there are refugees. Not all things and types of food are accepted, mainly because some go bad quickly or probably because they cannot be transported with safety.
Therefore, you should contact your local city service. From what I have seen you can just search for the phone over the internet and just call, or just visit the official website of the city where you leave, since most cities offer this information online. Alternatively, you can go to a drop off site nearby you and talk to the people in charge in person. There are such sites everywhere around Greece and in many places in Europe so it would not be too difficult or time consuming to find one and go there.
Demand action from your government
Many European governments unfortunately don’t realize how serious the situation is or they just don’t want to change things since they prefer to leave the problem to others when they are not yet directly affected by the problem. Of course I think that this is a very short sighted policy that is making the problem grow more.
Although you cannot force the government of your country directly, there are ways to declare that action is needed. There are numerous petitions for example that one can sign in order to call for European governments to accept more immigrants. I have talked to people around Europe who have signed over a dozen of such petitions that mainly ask an increase in the number of refugees that are housed in each country around Europe.
Become a volunteer
Except from material goods, volunteers are also greatly needed. You don’t need to be a doctor, or practice any other specialized profession. Well if you do, that’s just great, but you can still be a volunteer anyway. For instance, I am a volunteer at my city drop-off point.
It’s just around the corner and I just receive supplies from other people, store them and load the trucks that transport them to the refugee camps. Don’t take for granted that there are always people being paid to do these kind of jobs, especially in the financial crisis we are experiencing. Even if are still unable to do such tasks toy can answer the telephone and give information or coordinate tasks. There’s always something to do if you are really interested in helping.