Almost daily, stories of war, famine, natural disaster and political upheaval arrive in our inboxes, twitter feeds or newspapers. At the end of 2014, the UNHRC reported over 59 MILLION forcibly displaced individuals – 19.5 million of whom are refugees. From Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of Congo, from Palestine to Syria, the true magnitude of this worldwide crisis is not found in the numbers of people displaced, but in their stories and faces and names. Words like “displaced”, “refugee” and “crisis” mask the real human face of these stories. To read more, check out Humans of New York’s Refugee Stories series in collaboration with the UNHRC.
This is no time for apathy or complacency; this is a time for vigorous and positive action. Martin Luther King
How are Common Change groups rising to the occasion? In small and personable and profoundly beautiful ways.
- A group in Bellflower, CA is funding 200 relief kits for immigrants along the Greek-Macedonian border. Each kit contains portable food, water, medicine, diapers, baby formula, a blanket, and more. “We are far geographically from these migrants but our hearts and prayers are with them and we are hoping to help them in a tangible way as well through providing these kits.”
- A group in New Jersey just paid for treatment costs for a 19-year-old man with Graves disease living in a Palestinian refugee camp.
- A group in Cape Town sourced a double bed for a Malawian refugee family trying to get back on their feet.
- A group in Manchester purchased sleeping bags for a newly arrived Romanian family.
- Friends gave a graduation gift to a young Somalian man who just graduated college. His mother was living in a UN camp in Egypt and sent him ahead to the US when he was just 4 years old, in the hopes of a better future. The whole family is now settled in Nebraska.
- A group in Wisconsin paid for university fees for an Egyptian man as his family seeks amnesty after religious persecution.
- Friends in DC collaborated to get a computer for a Congolese refugee to help him stay connected with friends and family and begin looking for employment
- A group paid for chemotherapy for a 2-year-old Syrian refugee child living with her parents in Lebanon.
- A group purchased 5 tents for Iraqi families in a refugee camp.