The Refugee Support Express – 8 February 2018
Welcome to the Refugee Support Express
Breaking in Bangladesh
It’s been a busy week for distributions in Bangladesh. Thanks to the funding of Carry the Future, the team has completed another successful fruit and vegetable distribution to the 6,300 residents at Tumbru Camp. The team also carried out their first distribution to the host community.
In our final January edition of the RSE, we discussed the impact that the exodus of over half a million Rohingya has had on the local ‘host’ community of Cox Bazaar. We realised upon arrival in Cox Bazaar in November that we must extend our ethos of supporting local communities from Greece to Bangladesh in order to help protect the community which has graciously welcomed refugees to seek safety.
This week we distributed 700 school bags to a local school close to Tumbru camp – each bag filled with pencils, writing books, crayons and more. The children, parents and teachers were thrilled; and it is our intention to work on more supportive and communal projects with this host community to ensure that everyone feels supported during this time of crisis.
War does not just impact those in its direct path – its effects reverberate across countries around the globe. It has always been important to us that we do our bit to ensure that the local people are not forgotten whilst we focus on the refugees.
Will you help support the direct and indirect victims of the Myanmar genocide by donating to the cause now?
Keeping up with Katsikas
The kids at Katsikas have been busy over the past fortnight, as volunteers Shiloh, Chris and Anne have been teaching them a vital skill – the Macarena! Education and fun is an important aid to recovery and recuperation, and dance is a brilliant way to raise spirits and keep fit.
The camp also benefited from a karate and taekwondo lesson from Irisa. Our volunteers bring a wide range of skills and talents to the camp, and we thank them for sharing them with everyone.
Sustainability and co-operation are two important parts of our mantra and approach towards aiding with dignity; and this week, the Katsikas team have been developing more and more efficient methods to ensure the fair distribution of nappies / diapers.
Thanks for all your hard work – it’s already paying off!
What cool skills and party tricks could you bring to the camp? We are recruiting for volunteers to join the Katsikas Krew. Join us today!
Standing with refugees podcast
People are marching more than ever; and there are lots of things that people want to talk about urgently.
For this week’s podcast, Paul spoke to leader of Solidarity with Refugees, Ros Ereira. Solidarity with Refugees supports other grassroots refugee groups and is an incredible example of how one person making a petition for change can snowball in to something huge.
In 2015, Ros decided to make a political stand on behalf of Syrian refugees by organising a small demonstration to encourage the British government to resettle Syrian refugees in the UK. Little did she know that the event would go viral on Facebook; the march welcoming over 100,000 demonstrators to the doors of Downing Street. Thus, Solidarity with Refugees was born.
This fascinating podcast reflects on how the political climate of the UK and the US has increased and incensed the response to the plight of refugees and immigration over the past two years.
In it, Paul and Ros discuss the frustration of watching walls being built in response to confused narratives surrounding the movement of refugees; especially when so many people want to help. They discuss their hopes that the UK will open its doors to resettle refugees – particularly children. They contemplate how the political message of building walls provokes a disconnected reaction to the refugee movement; and Ros makes a compelling case for using ‘wall’ funds to discreetly resettle refugees as opposed to rejecting them with barriers.
If we want long term solutions, we need to start changing political policies as well as personal opinions.
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A mile in my shoes
It’s just over two months until we prepare to take flight in the Macedonia mountains. To highlight the on-going plight of the refugees raise vital funds and awareness to help aid refugees around Europe with dignity, we shall be walking the route the refugees took through Macedonia before the borders were closed two years ago.
You can view the itinerary for the seven-day challenge here, which includes FAQs about the trek.
It’s going to be tough challenge, so we recommend that you contact us if you have any health or wellbeing concerns before you sign up.
Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you next time.
Please contact us today at [email protected] if you are interested in volunteering, making a donation, or just want to get in touch.