Dear Community Members,
A 13-year old refugee told a humanitarian aid worker whom I spoke with last week, that “most people in Syria don’t have a dream; they just don’t want people to shoot them anymore.” Over the past several months, we have seen and heard countless heart-rending images and stories of human suffering, especially of the refugees arriving on Europe’s coastline escaping conflict and devastation. According to the UNHCR, over 429,000 refugees have arrived in Europe by sea to date in 2015 alone.
Last week, we received a short but very moving documentary produced by Sharon Ward for Channel 4. The video shows first-hand the dire situation in Greece, where the refugees first enter the European Union. Please take a few minutes to watch this video and share it with your family and friends; I promise it will move you.
The World Federation, in collaboration with the Council of European Jamaats (CoEJ) has launched the Europe Refugee Crisis Appeal. Funds raised through this appeal will provide humanitarian aid to refugee families, some of whom left their homes with only the clothes they wore.
In the first phase, a group of volunteers led by our own staff member from The World Federation will embark on our first humanitarian visit to Mytilene, Greece from the 26th September to 3rd October. They will be taking 500 aid kits to distribute to refugee families. The cost of each kit is GBP £25 and will include water purification tablets, 24 high-energy biscuits, 28-day biodegradable toilet bags and a sleeping bag. We will be collaborating with other organisations on the ground to best best utilise our time and assess how to help alleviate the situation for the refugees
I urge you to please make a donation to the Europe Refugee Crisis Appeal to support this visit and subsequent aid efforts which are so urgently needed.
Alhamdulillah, working closely in partnership with CoEJ, several volunteers have come forward so far offering to assist in various ways. We met several of these volunteers as part of our planning and logistics for the trip on Saturday 19th September at Hujjat Islamic Centre in Stanmore. However, as part of an ongoing effort, we will require more volunteers in a range of roles. If you are interested in volunteering, please visit http://www.coej.org/europe-refugee-crisis/
We will be releasing guidance on how to best urge your local council to assist more of the refugee families arriving in the UK in the coming months.
The UNHCR estimates that refugee arrivals to Europe will surge in the month of October, coinciding with heavy rains and cold weather on the island which will cause a greater humanitarian crisis. We are confident that the community will support this appeal.
On behalf of The World Federation, I would like to offer my condolences to you all on the shahadat eve of Hazrat Muslim (a.s.) and encourage us all to remember each other in our duas on the day of Arafat and especially to pray for the ease of suffering of our brothers and sisters who find themselves refugees.
Salaams and Duas,
Head of Relief