We can all do something – however small – to welcome refugees. Here are some ideas:
1. Take action
Add your voice to Amnesty’s online actions supporting refugees. All countries should do their bit to protect refugees, but in reality many countries – including the richest – do very little. Some even do dirty deals with unsafe countries like Turkey, paying them to “protect” refugees but in reality leaving many people in harm’s way. Through our global I Welcome campaign, Amnesty is pushing for all countries – especially the wealthiest – to welcome refugees through a range of different solutions.
2. Donate good quality things
Many amazing organisations working with refugees depend on generous donations, including quality second-hand clothing, toys and furniture. Search online for local projects that need donations. You could also encourage friends, family and neighbours to contribute – particularly before and after birthdays and seasonal/religious celebrations, or when people move house and might be getting rid of unwanted gifts and items.
3. Offer a safe place
If you have a spare room, or you’re a landlord with a place to let, look online for organisations that match emergency, temporary or permanent homes with asylum-seekers and refugees. You might be able to register your interest in housing a refugee with your local municipality. Some people offer their homes and properties to organisations that arrange respite breaks for refugees, giving them a much-needed space to recharge, socialise or take part in workshops and activities.
Organisations working with refugees often need volunteers to help as befrienders, language teachers, career or legal advisers and more. Volunteering can be a great way to get to know newcomers to your area and help them integrate.
5. Join or start a group
If you know others who are keen to welcome refugees, consider starting a welcome group together. If you’re already part of a local network or club, you could decide to start focusing on supporting refugees. There might already be refugee organisations or welcome groups in your area that you could join forces with, combining your skills to take action that’s locally relevant – whether it’s fundraising, organising awareness-raising events, or forming a community sponsorship group to welcome refugees in your area/country.