Searching for the Good in the Migrant & Refugee Crisis
On Thursday, September 24, 2015, Pope Francis addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress for the first time in history, and made a “radical” statement about the dire circumstances that refugees are facing across the world —
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
Yes, that’s right, the Golden Rule. You might not have heard it since you were a child, or maybe you have said it more recently to your own children. But as the conflicts continue to rage and many are forced to leave their homes, we should seek out those who keep this rule close by.
What has been blatantly absent from coverage of the crisis are the stories of success — the stories that give hope to not only the affected individuals and families — but to the rest of us in the world who might sometimes see this crisis and its scope as beyond the help that one individual or one donation can provide.
Amid the chaos, there is valuable and meaningful work being done. Some of these efforts are organized by large, well-known charities, while others are simply the response of individuals doing their best to help. Whether it is Baba Mujhse, the so–called “gentle giant” whose one-day volunteering helping children off trains, offering information and food has turned into months, or Sven Latteyer’s simple, but ever so meaningful welcome, it all counts. When asked why he has devoted himself to this task, Baba Mujhse responded, “They give me patience, faith, and a lot of love, while I can give them hope” said. And he is not alone.
Numerous charities across the world are working to alleviate the poor conditions that the migrants and refugees face. From Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) dramatically rescuing over 1,600 people in the Mediterranean in just one day, to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) distributing food, water, hygiene items, and first aid to countless refugees, the civil sector is instrumental in ensuring that these individuals are treated humanely and with dignity. Meanwhile, many charities continue to work in the countries where the refugees are coming from, such as Syria and Iraq, where Oxfam UK has been active since the beginning of the crisis.
The first responders (and the last ones to leave) to nearly any crisis, charities and individuals such as the ones just mentioned are the embodiment of the hope that the world needs when humanity’s limits are challenged as they are now.
To enable everyone to make a difference, CAF America has set up a donation page to facilitate easy, effective and rapid contributions to support organizations that are actively seeking to mitigate the challenges faced by those affected.