The worldwide refugee crisis is as urgent an issue as ever: in December, the number of migrants who had crossed into Europe in 2015 reached one million. Thousands are currently living in camps, including one of the largest, in Calais, nicknamed the “Jungle” and currently home to approximately 6000 migrants who hope to travel to the U.K.
Responding to a crisis of humanity like this one isn’t always about financial donations—though they are crucial to the continued running of the camps—it’s also about finding ways to spread positive attitudes, and to tell the stories of the people behind the headlines. Everybody needs to find ways to cope, or even escape their situation, and ways to be heard. From beauty treatments to performances of Shakespeare, these are some of the creative ways people have been helping others make it through this traumatic time. Scroll down to find out how you can get involved.
Kindness, Scroobius Pip, Robert Plant, and more have worked with refugees to create original music for a Red Cross project.
The Long Road is a concept album coordinated by British charity the Red Cross, pairing musicians with refugees in order to tell the stories of those fleeing conflict in music.
Adam Bainbridge, aka alt-pop artist Kindness, met a Syrian man named Ayman. Bainbridge told The FADER: “I hope that projects like these, using the strength and power of a story sourced directly from the individual, become more common.” Learn more and listen to the song, “A Retelling,” here.
If you would like to help:
As Sharmadean Reid advised when she spent some time in the Jungle, anyone wishing to send supplies should send in bulk rather than creating custom packages (as this creates more sorting work for those in the warehouse at the camp). Before sending anything to Calais, consult the regularly updated list of items that are currently needed. You can also buy and donate essential items directly via outdoor store Leisure Fayre.
The project Music Against Borders is collecting musical instruments to be sent to the camp—they can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to send something. The Jungle has a theatre called Good Chance Calais, which you can donate to here; it also has a library, but after being overwhelmed with book donations, it is requesting financial donations instead.
For more, see Help Refugees UK.