How to help Syrian refugees in London

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By Mika Alvarez

Working_together_to_help_Syrian_refugee_children_in_Lebanon_(15089979007)
Image: Wikipedia Commons

London has a ‘proud history” of helping refugees, according to the Mayor’s website. “It is right that we should continue to welcome people fleeing persecution and those plainly in fear for their lives.”

The government has committed to welcoming 20,000 refugees from Syria until 2020, and since October 2015, the United Kingdom has given more than £100 million to the ongoing migrant crisis.

Last month, Prime Minister Theresa May announced a £30 million aid package to assist refugees. With the Syrian crisis continuing, here are different ways you can help.

Donate

  • One of the easiest ways to contribute to the migrant crisis is to donate to different organizations: it’s the most efficient way to send aid to refugees. There are many national organizations you can rely on to help affected people, such as the British Red Cross Appeal (www.redcross.org.uk), Save the Children’s Child Refugee Crisis Appeal (www.savethechildren.org.uk )and UNICEF (www.unicef.org.uk). If you’re looking for a more local organization to donate to, Hand in Hand for Syria is a UK charity at the forefront in Syria for humanitarian aid. Goods, services and money are all welcome.

Volunteer

  • If you’re looking for a more hands-on experience to help refugees, you can also volunteer with several charities and organizations that are working with refugee areas across the UK. For more information, visit the National Council for Voluntary Organisations website (www.ncvo.org.uk/) to find local volunteer events in your area. You can also contact The Refugee Council (www.refugeecouncil.org.uk) to find more local volunteer opportunities.

Get informed

  •  There are a lot of misconceptions regarding what refugees are, why they’re leaving and which countries are affected by violence. By getting informed, you can assist refugees and make sure that they are provided the care they need. You can read more about the facts and myths about refugees online at Refugee Action (www.refugee-action.org.uk/). By doing this, you are able to understand the refugee crisis and understand them further.

House refugees in your own home

  •  A new initiative to help refugees calls for housing them in your own home. Refugees at Home and Room for Refugees are websites that allow you to register to host refugees under your own roof. One spare room in your home will allow you to house a refugee and you will able to decide how long you can host.

Offer Community Sponsorship

  • Organisations such as charities and community interest can now help sponsor refugees, by ensuring that have volunteer homes to go to, and someone to teach them English.
    Applying for full community sponsorship can take time but is very worthwhile. Visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for- full-community- sponsorship.

 

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