How You Can Help Refugees Around the World

Create a refugee naturalization manual focusing on cultural differences. You and your local community could take up this initiative as refugees often feel isolated and out of place now that they’ve relocated to a whole new world. This stress gets added on top of trying to figuring out how to restart their lives, not to mention the trauma from what they faced. By creating a manual explaining the local culture, your community will allow incoming migrants to adapt and seamlessly integrate into the new culture more easily. Encourage other local communities to do the same and help refugees at a wider reach than before.

reach than before.

Offer opportunities to volunteer. Volunteering can help refugees find a sense of community in the place they’ve relocated to, and they start to identify the new host country as a place of their own.

Tutor the youth. Learning the language is critical, and refugees who learn the language of their new country can connect to the people there and integrate into their community and can go on to succeed in their higher education or find employment. Paper Airplanes is one such initiative started by a college student. Tutors not only offer language support by strengthening their proficiency in the host country’s language but go a step further by aiding refugees in their resume, cover letter and personal statement while applying for universities and jobs. International Rescue Committee (IRC) is another program where you can tutor young refugees and has chapters in nearly every European, African and Asian country.

Employ refugees or support refugee run businesses. Surrounding the social stigma people have against refugees, finding employment is a struggle for them. Find a local resettlement centre in your community and put out a job advertisement there to reach out to the refugees there. Every refugee who comes to a new country is faced with the immediate overwhelming task of finding a new livelihood to provide for themselves and their family. Supporting their self-employed business by spreading a good word to the people you know will prove to be a great help to them. Other times, they can’t find employment because their academic achievements are not recognized here, or there are employment and visa restrictions. RefugeesWork and NaTakallam are two initiatives working to tackle such issues. An activist approach could be shopping in stores that hire refugees and not shopping in stores that do not allow refugees to work there. Let them know you don’t tolerate such an attitude.

Start or join a group advocating refugee rights. No Lost Generation is a student-led advocacy group which now has student chapters in U.S.A, Norway, Finland and Jordan. UNICEF school clubs have made great strides by hosting fundraisers, community engagement events and tutoring sessions to bridge the existing gap between students and local refugee communities.