“Let me express the hope that 2016 will be remembered as the year when the world took joint responsibility, also as a realization of enlightened self-interest, for giving migrants and refugees the support they need and deserve.” Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary General
On Friday, January 27, the new presidential administration announced significant changes to U.S. Immigration policy, including a substantial reduction of refugees allowed to enter the U.S., as well as funding cuts to the Refugee Admissions Program—and to resettlement agencies like World Relief—that compromise our ability to adequately care for refugees and immigrants. You can make a difference.
You’ve read the statistics. You’ve seen the images. And you’ve heard the stories of the Syrian refugee crisis. But you haven’t known what you can do to help.
You are not alone.
March 15, 2016 marked the five year anniversary of the initial conflict in Syria that has led to a refugee crisis of historic proportions. The numbers are staggering—half of the population of Syria has fled the country, and 4.8 million people now live as refugees in neighboring countries. Yet recent research shows that individuals and churches are struggling to engage the crisis in a meaningful way.
While the reasons for this lack of engagement vary, one reason is that many people simply don’t know how to engage. A problem as complex as the Syrian refugee crisis can be hard to get your head around, let alone know what you can do about it.
Because of this, we at World Relief have tried to provide specific, straight-forward opportunities for each of us to help meet the immediate and long term needs of our Syrian friends and other refugees in the Middle East.
- Sign up for Unlock Hope, a simple way for each of us to make a practical difference in the lives of refugees. A $15 monthly donation helps World Relief and its partners Unlock Hope for refugees. Learn more and join today.
- Join a Good Neighbor team that welcomes refugees to the United States and helps them acclimate to a new day-to-day life.
- Provide supplies for Welcome Kits. Get connected with a local World Relief office to purchase supplies via Amazon, or organize a donation drive. These welcome kits provide household items that refugees desperately need, such as kitchen, cleaning, and bathroom supplies, as well as items for children such as diapers, wet wipes and small toys.
- Continue to learn more about the crisis. This list of resources provided by We Welcome Refugees is a great place to start.
- Advocate on behalf of refugees by staying on top of proposed government reform and contacting government representatives when necessary.
- Pray. Download a prayer guide that guides you through a week of daily prayers for refugees.
No single one of us can solve a problem as vast as the Syrian refugee crisis. But every single one of us can do something. Today, may each of us choose to engage—to provide help where help is needed—in some meaningful way.