June 20, 2017

10 Ways to Help Refugees Without Leaving Your Computer

Before we spent a month living in a Syrian refugee camp, the word refugee meant very little to us. It existed solely in news headlines, associated with abstract statistics, in far-away countries. Now, when we think about this crisis, we see people who are mothers, doctors, and teachers—who have hopes and dreams. We picture our Syrian friends like Raouf and Um Ali.

Today is World Refugee Day, a day that many around the world struggle to relate to or understand. Hopefully these 10 tools can help us all gain empathy for individuals who have been forced to flee their homes.

1. Watch Salam Neighbor

Our award-winning documentary will provide you an unexpected look into the lives of Syrian refugees on the front lines of this dire crisis. The film has been called “Heart-wrenching” by Indiewire.

2. Host a Refugee on AirBnB

Now you can easily and safely provide emergency shelter to someone in need through AirBnB.
Refugees Welcome was launched in partnership with the International Rescue Committee.
Sign up, and get to know a refugee.

3. Experience Searching for Syria

Get answers to the world’s top 5 searched questions about Syrian refugees from our new collaboration with Google. Searching for Syria is an immersive experience using facts, visuals, and virtual reality videos.

4. Watch This TED Talk

From empathy to policy. This straightforward TED talk from expert Alex Betts, is a must watch on how we can fix our broken refugee system.

5. Explore This Free Curriculum

Educating students to think globally and challenge their biases is a critical step in creating
a better world. This free curriculum on forced migration uses our film Salam Neighbor and
is recommended for students as well as adults.

6. Spend One Minute to Consider This

This video is just over a minute long, and you won’t regret it. A unique way to remind us all that just because war isn’t happening in your country, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

7. Enter a Portal to a Refugee Camp

Step into a portal, currently set up in public spaces all across the world, and interact face to face with someone else from a different culture and country. Click above to find one near you, and don’t miss this chance to break out of our echo chambers.

8. Send a Letter of Hope

While living in a Syrian refugee camp, we quickly realized that our neighbors were hyper aware of what the world was saying about them online. Let’s make sure they hear messages of hope this year.

9. Read the UN’s Global Report

The UN Refugee Agency just released this year’s report on refugees. Make sure you know the most updated facts and trends.

10. Donate, Sign, and Volunteer

Nothing builds empathy more than proactively helping someone. For the past few years, we’ve put together a curated list of organizations to donate to, petitions to sign, and most importantly, places to volunteer.

I hope you’ll take your new knowledge and inspiration, and get actively involved off line. If you become close with, and help a refugee family, it will change your life in positive ways you could never imagine.