The way the Germans have been welcoming the refugees recently is so heartwarming to me. Read Silverbluelining’s German blog on her perspective and on what you can do for refugees in Germany.
The Dutch, alas, seem more lukewarm in their response. Here there has been some negativity on letting in more refugees, like recently when a right wing politician here (I won’t mention his name, he does not deserve the attention!) went to a new to be opened refugee shelter in a town in the north to protest the arrival of any refugees. Dutch politicians are generally careful about welcoming refugees, stating ‘we need to do something about the causes’. This is absolutely true of course, but doesn’t help the people who need to flee their homes now! Luckily there are also many supportive voices and there are also initiatives in the Netherlands to help!
- COA (Central Orgaan Opvang Asielzoekers) is the organisation that welcomes and houses all newly arrived refugees. On their website they praise the initiatives many Dutch people show and have issued a statement on what you can do to help. They say it is best to contact (local) organisations and authorities to find out what is most needed for the refugees. You can also contact the refugee centers directly and ask them directly what kind of help is most needed.
- VluchtelingenWerk Nederland gives on overview on what you can do to help. You can also donate money here.
- The Dutch Red Cross is also collecting money and materials for the refugees. You can donate to help.
- “My own” charity that I have been supporting for something like 20 years now is SOS Kinderdorpen (SOS Children’s Villages). The Dutch organisation also asks for donations to help refugee children. The international website reports on refugee children that have come into Macedonia.
- And there is also a private intiative where you can offer your house and be a host for a refugee seeking shelter; you can register your willingness to take in a refugee on their website. It is, however, unsure whether this will be a feasible thing to organize (apparently there are also many legal concerns) but the initiators are talking with organizations and (local) authorities to see if this is useful.
I just hope that the euforia you see now about helping people won’t turn into something ugly a year on from now when the sounds of “they are taking away our jobs and houses” and “they are all criminals” start resurfacing. I have been hearing these things for years now, it always makes me sick when all refugees and asylum seekers are thrown into one ugly pot like that…
Anyway, to end on a more positive note: Richard Armitage fans will soon be able to bid on 3 Richard Armitage shrines made by Guylty to help the refugees’ cause! So, in our own way, everyone can do something…