by Customer Experience Magazine
An incredible 670,000 people have arrived in Europe during 2015, fleeing conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. Winter is approaching, and the concerns around Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II are intensifying in the face of the coming cold months.
On 25th October, leaders of EU countries, Macedonia and Serbia met in Brussels to forge a sustainable plan for the ongoing refugee crisis.
The draft plan was criticised even before the meeting started, with many detractors pointing to governmental failures to handle the crisis in a humane and coordinated way.
During the meeting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said:
“This is one of the greatest litmus tests that Europe has ever faced.”
We couldn’t agree more.
While there is a growing concern about the future of refugees and the future of the European Union as we know it, much of the most direct support given to refugees comes from non-governmental organizations, charities and volunteers.
NGOs in Europe, especially in the Balkans, have faced huge problems in finding and communicating relevant, accurate information to refugees and in establishing sustainable processes to meet the challenges of the refugees’ fluid movements.
As water, food and other necessary supplies need to be constantly and evenly distributed, volunteers and charity workers have explored new ways to help using technology. Faced with educational, psychological, linguistic and organizational challenges, they have set up websites and social-network accounts that help them raise awareness, synchronise their efforts, find supplies, and share expertise.
In Britain, public response was and still is quite strong, with a great number of people coming forward to offer up their time, money and homes. The public continues to pressure the government to do as much as it can on both the political and the operational level.
The first step in being part of the solution is to get well-informed about how you can participate and support humanitarian organizations. Here are some useful links to get you started:
Refugee crisis: what can you do to help?
UK Refugee Council: How you can help us
British Red Cross
We all must work together to support governmental and non-governmental action and participate in all efforts to resolve the refugee crisis. It’s a vital cause, not just for the refuges, but for ensuring a better and more humane future for all of us. It’s tough, but we have to keep fighting.
‘I am standing with these refugees,’
said Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, upon visiting a refugee reception centre in Rome.
Are you standing with them as well?
More on the crisis:
Where governments fail, volunteers come to refugees’ aid
7 Volunteers Whose Lives Were Changed By Refugees
Lesbos volunteer tells of ‘huge amount of trauma’ as refugee boats capsize