When you want to be Home, but you have to pack your stuff and leave, than this will be your hardest journey.
It´s active, explosive and people discuss about it a lot.
We can hear it in the radio, read it in the newspaper, see it in the TV and get told from others. We think a lot about it, but we don´t really act a lot. But what if the refugees knock on your home countries door and ask for a accommodation?
It´s a current situation which is pretty BIG in Europe.
You can find many discussions about it in the world wide web, where people either ask for volunteers, people looking for a place to spend, a lot expert knowledge but also can you find racism, prejudices and criticism. I found an article about the latter where they told a story from a 100 year old man, who lived in a home for the aged in Germany but he couldn’t pay for his room anymore so they evict him. Many people called this article “not true” and “propaganda” but for others, its probably the reason to totally block this topic from their life.
They had a wild discussion in the comments below this article and this comment was the most liked one: “The refugees get paid everything but they put out our Nationals on the street.”
Stories like this are probably the reason, why so many of us don´t know how to handle this. It´s important to not forget that we have poverty in our own country and also help there, but it´s also important to accept the current situation and offer our help, because the poverty is so close.
The population in my hometown is about 2500. Our church community found a place where we can host asylum seeker.
As soon as they finished remodeling we will get some refugees so the church community started a “community” for all the volunteers.
To be honest, at the beginning I wasn´t sure what to think about it. I had so many thoughts, good but also bad ones. It´s a difficult topic. It´s often fear about the unknown, fear of what will happen. We get this anxiety about all the stories we hear and the prejudices we have. So when I realized that a lot of people around me have the same feeling about this, but are still willing to help, when I heard that we have currently more refugees then the times of the second world war, and when they asked us, to think about the hard times they had before they get here, I got over my fear and called in to volunteer.
If you´re now saying that you don´t have enough money for yourself and already spend a lot, than I have good news for you:
The best you have to give is your time.
We all have our own problems. Some of them are really tragic and some are made up in our mind. Indeed we do have people around us, family and friends, who are willing to help and stay on our side if we want them to. We also have often means to solve that problem. These people don´t have anything anymore and often they had to leave everyone behind. A lot of parents send their children away so they have a better chance to start a new life.
People look for volunteers which help before they move in, helping remodeling, coating or put some information’s together for them.
As soon as the asylum seeker move in, they need some one who is there for them when in need, someone who takes them to the public authorities and to the doctor but also someone who helps with the children, makes homework with them and teach them your language. It´s also important to entertain them and get them in the daily life. This will make their start in your country so much easier.
If you rather wanna help passive, you can organize donations and try to find clothes and shoes in their sizes.
But it´s important to not “spoil” them. If they wanna have a TV, a washing machine or a mobile phone they have to buy it on their own. The plan is to give every refugee a chair, a bed, a table and a closet and everyone gets about 390,00 €. That´s measured by the food , the public transportation and the personal need.
The refugees are not allowed to work until they get the official refugees status. After that the job center is responsible for them and they can start looking for an apartment and a job.
If you think now, that it is not necessary to help and there is enough help out there; well than you are wrong. There will not be any progress if everybody thinks like you do.
It´s not important what politics ask you to help, it doesn´t matter, how much you have to offer, it´s not important in which society you are, it doesn´t matter WHY you want to help, it´s just important that you HELP.
This may not be your war, but it´s your job to help. We are currently one of the biggest drop-in center for refugees, where they look for help and can find it. Does that not mean that we have the capacity for that? And is that not the same as luxury? We have a health insurance, place to live, a great education, well paid jobs and respect for our rights; all of that is normal for us. But refugees look exactly for that when they come to us. And it’s not normal for so many people around the world.
So open your heart and give these people a chance to start a new live! The past of them was hard enough, it´s on us, to make their future a better one!
How can you help:
- Spend money. Not to the asylum seekers but for communities which try to help them
- Donate. Either you help organizing or donate even. It´s important that you don´t take every donation you get. If no one has shoe size 36, you don´t need these shoes, also broken things are not welcome
- Help before they move in
- Be a contact person
- Help with the children and making the home work
- Try to integrate them in the daily life
- Make them help you
- Make your friends help to. share this article and spread the word. Show everyone that this is not difficult
Where can you help:
- Get information in your town or church community if the plan something
- Look in the newspaper if someone needs volunteers
- Visit refugees homes
- Look for information in the internet for example www.unhcr.org
- If no one started something in your area, why don´t you?
As you can see, it´s not difficult to help, it’s just important to make the first step. Leave Prejudices and Fears behind you, and share your home country with people on the run.