Image by SolidariTee
Words by Alice Clifford
‘SolidariTee is the largest student-led charity fighting for change in the refugee crisis. We raise awareness of the crisis and offer grants to NGOs and individuals working in this field.’
Every now and again an image from a refugee camp lights up our tv screens for 5 minutes and the world sits up for a moment with a flood of sadness and desire to help. However, more often than not, that burning need to take action lasts just as long as the news report and then quickly evaporates as something else fills the screen. While life continues on, these refugees are stuck on a path that can only be improved by the help of others. SolidariTee was founded in 2017 and has already made a pivotal impact on many lives around the world and gives you the opportunity to do the same. It is crucial, as refugees suffer a relentless and brutal battle, that is continually being pushed backwards by this constantly changing world. From the fire that destroyed Greece’s largest refugee camp in Moria, to the Covid19 pandemic, now is the time to help as much as we can.
What are the facts?
- 1 in 70 people worldwide is caught up in a humanitarian crisis
- As many as 70% of Syrians live in extreme poverty, on less than $1.90 a day
- 1 out of every 6 people in Lebanon is a refugee
- In 2017 439,505 people were denied entry at the EU’s external borders
- In the 12 months up to September 2018, 60 minors were locked up in immigration detention in the UK. That’s more than 2 average sized primary school classes
SolidariTee’s focus is on offering legal aid to refugees in camps throughout Greece. This legal aid is vital to the life of each person, holistically, financially and pastorally. Here are some examples of the amazing legal aid made possible by SolidariTee:
Fenix Humanitarian Legal Aid
Fenix supports refugees through empowering individuals and helping them learn how to navigate through the asylum process and the extremely difficult challenge of building a new life in a new country.
Legal Centre Lesvos
This centre works with Greek lawyers and offers paramount legal advice for asylum seekers and migrants, ensuring that each individual understands their rights.
Avocats San Frontières
This organisation has opened a centre on the Greek island of Samos, and in their first six months successfully supported 387 individuals with their asylum applications. They provide information and support to asylum seekers about asylum interviews, and continue supporting them throughout any appeal processes. They do this through translating medical documents, communicating with the Greek asylum services and working on family reunification cases.
These are just a few organisations that SolidariTee supports, therefore it is clear that fundraising is key in this rapidly growing charity. The reps and organisers are all involved in creative fundraising activities, however, the most lucrative fundraising scheme is the selling of their iconic t-shirts, which come in a range of colours and designs, meaning you have no excuse not to buy one, as there’s a colour for every outfit! Each one comes with an incredible story behind it, as they were all designed by refugees themselves.
Hopefully, this article has given you a brief insight into the incredible work that this charity does for human beings around the world. Human beings that are just like us in almost every way but geography. Getting involved couldn’t be easier, as every university is always in need of more reps, whose job is to sell t-shirts and organise fundraisers throughout the year. There are also other positions that you can find on the charity’s website. Even if you feel like you don’t have the time to get involved in any of these ways, it doesn’t mean you can’t do your bit. Just reading, listening to podcasts, keeping up with the news and even watching movies can help educate yourself, and allow you to use that information to raise awareness around you, even if that is by an Instagram spam of information or talking to your friends and family. The charity has its own podcast called Right to Refuge, which offers key and up to date information on the crisis and breaks down all the important issues, and gets a huge recommendation from me. Also books such as ‘The Refugees’ by Viet Thanh Nguyen and ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ by Christy Lefteri can open your eyes to the truths of current world problems that are happening around us.
To quote Greta Thunberg: ‘no one is too small to make a difference’.