This is how you can help the people in moria

A family amid the remains of the burned-down Moria camp. More than 11.000 people are homeless on the Greek island of Lesbos.

Image: imago images / ZUMA Wire

Image: imago images / ZUMA Wire

TEXT
Morgane Llanque

This is how you can help the people in moria

Europe Refugees Humanitarian Aid Disaster Relief Politics

After the 8. September 2020 a fire destroyed the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, the so-called Moria II has emerged: the Kara Tepe camp. Again, there is a lack of clean water, food, medical care. Keeping your distance to protect yourself from contracting Covid-19 is virtually impossible. There is sexual violence and an infestation of rats. Local helpers assume that there is a political calculation behind the terrible circumstances: The camp is supposed to serve as a deterrent for other refugees.

Here are five things you can do to support the people in Moria.

Help Moria: Write to politicians

A political solution would be the best long term help for the people in Moria and all other people on the run. Germany has agreed to take in one time 1.Take in 553 refugees, primarily families, but from multiple camps, not explicitly just Moria. In addition to families, the federal government has agreed to take in up to 150 unaccompanied minors. In total, about 1.700 refugees to be brought to Germany.

If you think that this is not enough and that the camps on the Greek islands need to be completely evacuated, especially during the Corona crisis, you can write to your direct political representatives in the state and federal parliaments and ask them to take action. Among others, Seawatch and the Federal Association for Unaccompanied Minor Refugees have called on you to do this with the action tool of the Seebrucke, so that you don’t have to search for your responsible member of parliament. There is a text template, so you don’t have to formulate emails or letters yourself if you don’t want to do that. So you can try to get members of parliament to speak up for refugees in parliament. Community involvement is also important: while cities and towns cannot take in refugees on their own, they can declare their willingness to take in refugees to their respective state and the federal government, and put pressure on the federal government to do so. Many municipalities have done this as part of the Solidarity Cities initiative. If your municipality is not included, you can bring it to the attention of your local politicians.

Volunteer on the ground

Volunteers are essential for the care and legal counseling of refugees. If you want to volunteer on the ground, however, you need to be aware that aid organizations such as Fenix Aid need qualified, physically and mentally resilient volunteers. Two weeks of volunteer tourism does not help anyone. You are a lawyer, law student, medical doctor or work in the field of social work or psychology? You speak Farsi, French or Arabic? You might be a professional translator? And you have at least three to six months? Then you qualify, for example, for the organization Fenix Aid, which is working on Lesbos, among other places. Also helpers for logistics and transport and experts for social media and fundraising are needed. The Norwegian aid organization Dråpen i Havet is looking for people specialized in education, as well as skilled carpenters and plumbers, to work in the new Kara Tepe camp. Have been on the ground in Lesvos for a long time and are helping Medical Volunteers International. Also the Stelp e.V. Supporter on Site, an aid organization from Stuttgart, is currently on site and looking for support. The organization indigo volonteers distributes people interested in volunteering on Lesvos to different aid organizations according to their competencies. For all potential volunteers, there is also an information point on Facebook and a guide that provides information on everything from deployment opportunities to information on the corona crisis and possible risks. You don’t have the time, the financial means or the necessary skills to volunteer on Lesbos? The best way to support local volunteers is to donate to their organizations.

Moria help from Germany

Activism opportunities are endless: For example, you can sign petitions calling for the reception of refugees in Germany and Europe and the dismantling of the camps. For example the petition #leavenoonebehind. The Bridge of Seas has put together a page specifically for action ideas. Here you will find tips on demonstration forms that are corona-appropriate and templates for tweets and posters. You can participate in protests and use your social media reach to spread information about the situation in Moria. You can also advocate for the rights of refugees by bringing their concerns to the attention of people in the media: For example, ask local artists to draw attention to the situation of refugees at the beginning of their online concerts. This is the way to attract attention and possibly increase willingness to donate and commitment. One woman, for example, came up with the following incentive to donate to the pier: Anyone who donates and sends her a screenshot of the donation receipt will receive in return a book package from the shelf of her mother, who works as an editor. You as a private person can also create such individual incentives. Get involved in German organizations like Pro Asyl or transnational organizations like alarmphone. At Alarmphone, you can volunteer to help refugees in distress at sea. During your Alarmphone shifts, you can be reached by phone for refugees from the sea and alert the relevant coastguards. For this commitment it is important that you speak English, but preferably French or Arabic, and that you are psychologically stable and resilient. Here, a volunteer talks to enorm magazine about his work at Alarmphone.

Donate to aid organizations in Moria

You can support aid workers with a financial donation. In most cases, a monetary donation is better for the respective relief organizations, which themselves know best what materials, medical equipment, or other goods are needed and need to be purchased. In addition, goods can often be bought cheaper locally and there are no transportation costs.

Here is a selection of organizations that are working especially for the refugees of Moria right now. The links will lead you directly to the respective fundraising campaigns for refugees in Moria and other camps.

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