If you are one of the people intent on making a difference, these are the online resources to target.

What is there left to say about the heart sinking humanitarian crisis at borders all over Europe. In actress Emma Thompson’s words, ‘If refugees were white, we would feel differently’. Just one thing to think about amongst the plethora of resounding bells ringing with the reality that something is very wrong with the system indeed. Seemingly it’s down to individuals the world over to act where politicians will not. If you are one of the people intent on making a difference, these are the online resources to target. And if you need any convincing of what the power of the individual can achieve just take a look at this 1988 ‘This is Your Life’ programme on Sir Nicholas Winton who organised the rescue and passage to Britain of about 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovakian children destined for the Nazi death camps before World War II in an operation known as the Czech Kindertransport.


More than 20,000 men, women, and children are estimated to have lost their lives in the past two decades, while trying to cross the Mediterranean in search of a better life.

MOAS (the Migrant Offshore Aid Station) is a registered Foundation dedicated to preventing loss of life at sea by providing assistance to migrants who find themselves in distress while crossing the Mediterranean Sea in unsafe vessels.

The project – financed by private individuals who believe strongly in mitigating disasters at sea –consists of international humanitarians, security professionals, medical staff, and experienced maritime officers who have come together to help prevent further catastrophes at sea.


Migrant Help has been helping people who are fleeing from persecution, war and torture for over 50 years. Today, they are the leading UK organisation providing asylum advice and guidance services in the UK.

Your support can help transform the lives of vulnerable people who have fled persecution, escaped from slavery or found themselves in a situation that they do not understand. There are lots of ways you can make a difference including volunteering, making a donation or fundraising.


The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. At work in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities to restore safety, dignity and hope, the IRC leads the way from harm to home.

For more than 80 years the International Rescue Committee has been helping refugees fleeing war and persecution to find safety and rebuild their lives. Right now, IRC teams in Greece are helping thousands of refugees each day who have risked everything to escape war and chaos inside Syria as well as conflict in countries like Afghanistan and Somalia.

You can support their work helping refugees arriving in Europe right now, and sign the pledge to urge the government to offer a safe haven and a new start to Syrian families and other refugees fleeing war and persecution around the world. Of every $1 the IRC spends, more than 90¢ goes to programs and services that directly benefit refugees and communities affected by war or disaster.


The crisis in Syria has now entered its fifth year. Millions of families have been forced to flee their homes, some seeking safety in bordering countries while others are now homeless within Syria. These families urgently need food, shelter and household essentials like blankets and hygiene items. Their children also desperately need support to help them process and come to terms with the trauma they have experienced.

World Vision have reached almost 1.8 million people affected by the crisis in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. They have provided essentials like food vouchers, heaters, blankets and hygiene kits to help people stay warm, fed and well. They have set up safe places where children can learn and play and process all they have experienced. However, humanitarian needs continue to grow.

Here's how your money can help: £30 could buy 3 blankets for a family; £60 could give a family nutritious food for three weeks, including milk for their babies and £150 could provide mattresses, blankets, hygiene kits and a kitchen set for a family.


Refugees in Calais - including pregnant women and unaccompanied children - are living in appalling conditions. The lack of clean water, sanitation and shelter is causing a huge number of health problems among the residents of the camps.

Doctors of the World is the only charity providing medical help on the ground in Calais, with two field clinics in the main camp and a team of volunteer doctors and nurses providing essential medical consultations, counselling and psychological support services. Here's how your donation can help: £100 could pay for a doctor and two nurses to staff the clinic for one day, £20 could provide a course of antibiotics and £5 could provide bandages/dressings for an injured migrant.


An other way to help practically migrants in Calais is to provide them with essential goods. An Amazon wish list has been set up for people to buy specific items such as shoes and sleeping bags to be delivered to Calais as part of the appeal #KentforCalais and #HelpCalais.


Other ways to help include offering a place to stay to those in need; Refugees Welcome has been described as “Airbnb for refugees”. Founded in Germany the online service seeks to put people who have room in their home in touch with a refugee needing somewhere to stay. Working with established refugee organisations, the group will help you fundraise to cover rent if need be, as well as provide continuing support to the homeowner and their guests. Hundreds of people have already signed up.

Refugees Welcome currently offer the service in Germany and Austria but are encouraging people to replicate it in other countries. Visit their website to learn more or get help with starting a Refugees Welcome site where you live.

September 2015