The situation in Afghanistan has been a stark reminder of our responsibility to offer welcome to people fleeing war and persecution – in the UK, and specifically here in Birmingham (where we have declared ourselves a City of Sanctuary).
If you’d like to do something to help by donating or volunteering (as an individual or organisation) BARMS (Birmingham Asylum Refugee & Migrant Support) are coordinating offers of help: please contact BARMS through their website.
BARMS also have a directory of services for refugees and people seeking asylum that can be translated into multiple languages.
If you’re interested in longer-term volunteering, Birmingham City of Sanctuary have a list of organisations that regularly need volunteers.
The UK government has made a start in offering support for people fleeing Afghanistan, but there is much more that they could do – Amnesty have a letter to the Prime Minister that you can sign.
This is all in the context of the Nationality and Borders Bill, which will return to Parliament this autumn. The Bill will mean that our asylum system discriminates against people arriving via ‘irregular routes’, and will make already vulnerable people even more vulnerable. Asylum Matters have template letters to send to your MP and local newspapers.
You can accompany any of these actions with a simple show of support for the Together with Refugees campaign, calling for a kinder, fairer and more effective approach to supporting refugees – download resources from their website (including the image above).
And you’re always welcome to pop into Peace Hub for a chat about these issues, and to get ideas for action.