How can I help refugees?
Give old goods a new life
Do you have any old toys which no one plays with any longer? Does your old mobile phone still function? Has your winter coat shrunk? And what about those curtains, which no longer cover your windows, and have long been forgotten at the back of the storage cupboard? Pass on unwanted stuff and clothes. Reception centres and housing centres for asylum seekers are in great need for them.
But first check what is needed. In September 2015 some collection points had to suspend receiving donations of clothes due to the lack of space. Nevertheless, situation may change. Links to information about collections and local area events can be found on Apua vastaanottokeskusten turvapaikanhakijoille facebook page . The page is being updated by volunteers.
Get those knitting needles out
Do you know how to knit or perhaps would like to learn it? Woollen socks are indispensible during the cool autumn and winter months in Finland. They also make a perfect personalised present and send a welcome message. Anyone can participate in collecting woollen socks through Refugee Hospitality group and Yhteismaa. Information about sock knitting workshops as well as sending already made ones can be found on campaign's Facebook page.
Offer asylum seeker a place in your home
Do you have a spear room? Are you ready to host a stranger or share your home with a family for a longer period of time? Due to overcrowding in reception centres people started offering accommodation to asylum seekers in their homes. If you are considering such a possibility, you are also adviced to check carefully the instructions prepared by the Finnish Immigration Service.
In many reception centres and collection points donations have exceeded expectations and regular employees are faced with hard work load of sorting the goods. Perhaps you have time to help in sorting and distributing? Check the situation at a local reception centre or collection points by consulting the links and information on Apua vastaanottokeskusten turvapaikanhakijoille facebook page.
Asylum seekers sometimes have to wait for months at a reception centre before they receive a decision granting them residency permit. Could you think of something to fill this time? Would you organise some group activities such as baking or a trip outdoors? To get involved in organising such activities sign up as a volunteer at the Finnish Red Cross here and check the information about multicultural activities services.
Support disaster relieve work
You can register as a fundraiser or make donations yourself to the Hunger Day project at the Finnish Red Cross. Hunger Day collection proceeds go towards helping people in disaster affected areas in different parts of the world. More information can be found here.