There’s been a prolonged spike in the number of refugees fleeing wars and other threats in their native homelands. In Syria alone, the past seven years have been tumultuous, with internal conflicts costing hundreds of thousands of lives and forcing 6.1 million people out of their homes, according to USA for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
From various countries around the world, people are losing their homes and fear for their safety due to persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations.
No matter who you are, you have access to valuable technology, which you can use to lend support to refugees in various ways.
These are just some of the best ways you can leverage the power of technology to help refugees in need:
Online Donation. Money is one of the most powerful ways to help refugees. It’s much easier to transfer than other types of donations, doesn’t require you to significantly change your lifestyle, and can be done in a matter of minutes. Not only that, but refugees can use the money for practically anything they need, whether it’s paying rent, affording food, or establishing a new kind of marketplace among themselves.
Recurring Donations With Automatic Withdrawals. If you wanted to go a step further, you could set up automatic donations to be withdrawn from your account monthly. That way, you can keep a cash flow running to people who need it without the hassle of making manual donations. Just make sure you do your research and set this up with an organization who will use the full value of your donation for social good.
Find Volunteer Opportunities. There are many specific ways you can help refugees in crisis through your own time and services, but if you’re new to the idea, you might be confused on where or how to start. Researching online, with organizations like the UNHCR, can help you find out how to host refugees and other asylum seekers in your home, help integrate refugees into your culture, or even volunteer one of your skills to benefit refugees.
Online Fundraising. If you’re interested in raising awareness for the refugee crisis and putting your company front and center for the cause, you could use a platform like GoFundMe to organize your fundraising efforts, or link your potential donors directly to your organization of choice online. Either way, you’ll have the power to help people understand the magnitude of the crisis, and inspire more donations than you’d be able to make on your own.
Use Social Media to Raise Awareness. If you only have a limited amount of time or money, but still want to provide support, you can use your social media accounts to raise awareness of the problem. Broadcast facts about the increasing number of refugees, encourage people to donate, or simply let people know how they can provide support.
Why You Should Care
Engaging in this effort will cost you time, and in some cases, money, so why should you care about it?
- The Ethical Case. You could argue that helping refugees is an ethical imperative. These are human beings that have lost access to their homes and resources through no fault of their own, and are relying on international aid to help them survive and recover.
- Promotional Opportunities. Integrating support for the refugee crisis could help you achieve your corporate social responsibility goals. Each time you promote the idea of volunteering or donating, you’ll increase the visibility of your brand. And while self-promotion shouldn’t be your main goal in helping refugees, it’s certainly an added bonus.
- Brand Values. Similarly, talking about the refugee crisis and calling for additional support demonstrates to your audience what your brand values are. You’ll showcase your brand in a more positive light, potentially earning more trust and recognition from your followers.
The world’s refugee crisis isn’t going away anytime soon, but you can use the resources and technology already in your possession to make a meaningful difference — and possibly, see some benefits for your business as a result. Even taking a few minutes to learn more about the crisis, and share what you’ve learned can make an impact, so take that time and make a difference.
Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer, and researcher. A graduate of Iowa State University, he's now a full-time freelance writer and business consultant. Currently, Larry writes for Entrepreneur.com, Inc.com, and Forbes.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter (@LarryAlton3), at LinkedIn.com/in/larryalton, and on his website, LarryAlton.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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