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From campaigning and raising funds to hosting a dinner. Actively helping out in this current refugee crisis may be easier than you think
The refugee situation is now affecting not only the Middle East, but also Europe – and Denmark.
Millions of families have had to leave their countries as a result of civil wars and unrest. In recent years, the civil war in Syria, has sent refugees on a trek to start a new life in the neighbouring countries of Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Or in Europe.
The solution to the refugee crisis is a hotly contested political topic. But whatever the solution, most agree that the present humanitarian crisis is huge, and that the refugees need to be helped.
“Imagine if it was you, all alone in a new country”.
Donations to charities are good, but how can you do something extra? There are many organisations where students and young people can use some of their time partaking in activities that support refugees and asylum seekers. So the University Post has decided to list some of the organisations in Copenhagen and in Denmark where students can volunteer their skills and their time for a good cause.
Venligboerne is a group of Danish volunteers whose aim is to help the incoming refugees settle in Denmark and feel integrated. It started in North Jutland but has quickly gained popularity all over the country, having now gathered over 6.000 members on Facebook.
By becoming a part of this group you will be able to offer your help in everyday activities such as showing incoming families around the city, introducing them to new people and making them familiar with the culture in general. As one of its members pointed out in an interview with DR, “Imagine if it was you, all alone in a new country”. For many students that might not be too hard to imagine.
However, that is just one of the many ways in which you can take part in Venligboerne’s work , there is also:
• Venligboerne samler ind where you can help raise funds
• Venligboerne giver væk til flygtninger where you can donate clothes, toys, etc.
• Venligboerne stud. jur rådgivning where refugees can get information regarding legal advice
What´s really great about this group is that it doesn´t involve any extraordinary activities, you can help whenever you want and however you want, so if you have any free time and wish to take a couple of hours of your day to help a family settle in or just wish to donate some of your stuff here is the Venligboerne Facebook group.
Turns out, over 45 million people in the world are living as refugees and almost half of them are children. Therefore, good old UNICEF is of course doing the best they can to provide their support to children affected by the crisis in Syria and surroundings whether it is by providing the children with food and clothes or assisting them psychologically and academically, and there is of course the opportunity for you to take part. There is on one hand the option of starting your own fundraising online and encouraging the the people you know to donate for a good cause.
“When you have the opportunity to take part and help the people around you, I do not see any excuses for not doing so”
What’s more if you have some more free time every week you can volunteer for them and if you are willing to take up on a bigger commitment to the cause, you can work for them as a promoter or telemarketer! As one of their promoters pointed out to me: ”When you have the opportunity to take part and help the people around you, I do not see any excuses for not doing so”.
Find out more about UNICEF’s work here.
Despite the hard work UNICEF is putting into dealing with the rufugee crisis, it is good to know that they are not the only organisation that has taken upon the task of looking after the children affected by the crisis in Syria . Red Barnet is a branch of Save the Children which is the world’s biggest independent children organization in the world and their area of work focuses not only on the children that have made it to Europe as refugees but also on the ones that have stayed by making sure that they have everything they need to get through these difficult times such as winter clothes, food, medicine.
One of their main focus is that doesn’t matter where they are the children can get access to education since it is their belief that “only by protecting and strengthening the children now , we can avoid that an entire generation is lost”. Therefore they are always happy to count with volunteers that can help them with different tasks such as:
• Collecting funds on the street
• Campaigning and creating awareness of the problems affecting the children
• Organising events for fundraising
• Volunteering at their secondhand shops either as by selling, decorating or cleaning.
• Organising trips
If you think that you can be helpful to them in any way thank you can find out more about Red Barnet (Save the Child) here.
DanChurchAId is a branch of the Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church and their aim is to strengthen the world’s poorest people in their struggle for a life in dignity. They have been providing the people affected by the political conflicts in Syria and its neighbouring countries such as Lebanon and Jordan with emergency relief such as water, shelter, food, medical care, school material, etc.
Just as with UNICEF you have the opportunity to start your own online fundraising dedicated specially to the refugees cause. What’s more you can volunteer in many of their projects such as their secondhand clothes shop where you can work as a salesman, a decorator, customer service, handyman, in other words any skills you have might come in handy!
Moreover, they have their own volunteer youth group called Nødhjælpens Ungdom which consists of students and people under 30 years old that organise events and campaigns to help those in need. Nødhjælpens Ungdom projects range from campaigning and creating awareness of the critical situation many people around the world are facing to volunteering at their bar and/or café where the profit is directed towards DanChurchAid’s relief work.
You can find more about DanChurchAid and their youth group here.
The Danish Red Cross on its part has also taken upon themselves to help the incoming refugees settle down and facilitating the process of integration for them. As a volunteer for the Red Cross you can choose from a variety of programmes in which you can support the refugees, some of them being:
• Integration work: Similar to Venligboerne this programme consists of introducing the refugees to their new community. Your contribution could range from helping them with language or homework, helping them find their way around town, training their cycling skills, arranging social events where they can meet new people and create a network.
• Volunteering at an asylum center: by becoming one of their 450 asylum volunteers all over the country you can help create a safe and worthy day for people going through the process of requesting asylum in Denmark. The activities go from helping them with language and formalities for their applications to volunteering at their internet café or being in charge of creative workshops.
Find out more about the Red Cross work with refugees here.
DRC is an Independent humanitarian organisation aimed at protecting and guaranteeing the rights of refugees all over the world. Although a large part of their work is focused on providing direct assistance to people in conflict-affected countries you can still make yourself of use by becoming a volunteer for Diaspora Organisations .The volunteers mainly work with administrative tasks regarding applications, financial reports, budgeting, etc.
As mentioned on their website, volunteering or interning for them “is a great opportunity to get experience with development projects from beginning to end and to get to know an organization and the inspirational people behind it”.
Not to mention that the Danish Refugee Council has just been ranked as 3rd on the list of the world’s best NGOS and therefore volunteering for them might be also an excellent place to gain work experience.
For more information on the Danish Refugee Council’s volunteering and interning opportunities you can visit the site here.
Doctors without borders is a private, international, humanitarian organisation that provides medical relief to areas affected by conflict and catastrophe all around the world. They have to big network of volunteers both in Copenhagen and Århus where volunteers can help in multiple ways such as:
• Fund raising
• Campaigning or distributing flyers
• Providing assisstance at the office
• Event planning
• Translation work
If you think this might be something for you then you can sign up and read more about the Doctors without Borders volunteer work here.
Amnesty International is an NGO aimed at protection human rights all over the world and the refugee crisis has therefore become one of their main concerns; which is why in February they voiced their criticism over the Danish Government’s decision of limiting Syrian asylum seekers to a one-year temporary resident permit and complicating the process for their families to join them in Denmark.
Their work consists in great part of creating awareness and drawing attention to the violation of rights all over the world, which is exactly what’s happening in Syria. Amnesty International counts with their own youth group where you can volunteer and take part in different activities such as:
• Collecting signatures
• Arranging events such as film nights, concerts, parties or exhibitions.
• Participating in seminaries aimed at creating awareness of the human rights situation in the world.
Therefore if this is something you would like to take part in or you have any ideas that you would like to share with them, write to email@example.com.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is a humanitarian branch ran by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and aimed at providing disaster relief for communities affected by catastrophee. One of their main focuses at the moment is to guarantee education for vulnerable women and children in areas of conflict such as Sudan, South Sudan, Lebanon, Syria og Yemen. Just as the other organisations they are more than happy to receive help from volunteers that can contribute in many areas such as:
• Office work
• Working at their warehouse where packages containing relief are send to areas affected by catastrophe
• Public relations and marketing assistance whether it is telemarketing or database registration.
• Translating from English to Danish and vice versa.
Therefore if you feel like you have any skills that they could make use of, offer your help as a volunteer at ADRA here.
Trampoline House is a community center in Copenhagen that provides refugees and asylum seekers in Denmark with a place of support, community, and purpose.
Their aim is to break the social isolation and the feeling of helplessness that might come with the process of being a refugee or while requesting asylum.
It is open four days a week and they offer a different number of activities and classes to support the refugees such as legal counseling, language classes. Their aim is to break the social isolation and the feeling of helplessness that might come with the process of being a refugee or while requesting asylum. They moreover aim at creating a network for refugees trying to settle in in Denmark by giving them the opportunity of meeting Danish people and thereby making them feel included and integrated. They have a pretty tight calendar of activities such as
• creative workshops
• public campaigns
• computer classes
• football club
• yoga lessons
• art exhibitions
• youth club
• women club
If you feel that you have any skills that would be useful for any of their activities or have any ideas for events that you would like to organise, you can contact them at
(+45) 32 20 02 25
Or visit the Trampoline House website here.
Needless to say all of these organisations also accept donations and anything you can do to help will be greatly appreciated!
Do you have any further suggestions for refugee aiding volunteer efforts? Write in the comment field below
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