Guest blog by Lindsay Jardine from 06-Refugee Kids Care and Fostering
A small group of people based in Dept 06 (Alpes-Maritime) are hoping to be directly involved in children’s lives who are here as unaccompanied refugee minors. We are looking to promote this group, and through sharing details of the Parrainage process help establish a network of support groups through France. Continue reading
RASI-RINE/ FRANCE AND BEYOND HUB 31 is now accepting donations for a fifth container of aid. The container will be sent to Lebanon (here is why). Donations will be accepted at the HUB31 Storage in Escanecrabe until November 1. Please read on to find out how you can help.
Europe is being gripped by the largest refugee crises since the Second World War. One-third of those refugees are fleeing Syria as a result of the almost five-year-old civil war there. Most refugees have been absorbed into neighbouring Arab countries and many have fled to Europe.
There are currently well over 1 million registered Syrian refugees living in Lebanon and many more who have yet to be documented. Most have been there since the beginning of the civil war. The reality is that Lebanon (about the same size as Cornwall) cannot cope with 1.5 million Syrian and 500,000 Palestinian refugees.
RASI-RINE/ FRANCE AND BEYOND HUB 31 are pleased to announce that a fifth container is now confirmed and we are currently accepting donations at the HUB31 Storage in Escanecrabe until November 1, 2016. The container will be sent to Lebanon.
The container is organised by RASI-RINE (in association with People to People Solidarity Southern Europe and Middle East) and this time is funded by the UK-registered charity, Muslims in Need.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Hygiene and food are the most urgently needed items. You can make a financial donation towards these items in the following ways:
Donate via https://www.lepotcommun.fr/pot/cda4llxj
Donate via Paypal: paypal.me/rasirine
Or order from our Amazon Wish List for direct delivery to Hub31.
The refugees in Lebanon are in dire need of food, medicine, and supplies for personal hygiene and for babies. With that in mind, we are asking for donations of the following items ONLY:
Shampoo (preferable 2 in 1), soap, wash cloths, sanitary towels (not tampons), toothbrushes, toothpaste, toiletry cases, shower gel, body lotion, hand sanitiser gel, facial tissues, deodorant, disposable razors, shaving gel, hairbrushes, combs, soap holders, incontinence pads, hair bobbles, new underwear, intimate wipes
Mother and baby Items
Nappies, nappy rash cream, baby wipes, nursing pads, baby shampoo and soap
NO MEAT OR ONLY HALAL
Nuts: various kinds, dried fruits, coconut oil, bulgur wheat, red lentil, green lentil, ghee
Tea: regular, fruit herbal medicinal teas – chamomile, peppermint, valerian, sleep teas
Tinned veg (with RING PULL CANS): white beans, green beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, Lentils, Potatoes, peas, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, mixed beans, sweetcorn)
Tinned fish (including tuna, salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel)
Tinned fruit (including peaches , pears, pineapple, fruit cocktail, mandarin)
tomato paste, mixed grains, cinnamon, chilli, garlic paste, pickled goods.
Cereals: biscuits, unsalted mixed nuts and raisins, cereal bars, Weetabix/porridge/other cereals
Pastas/rice: preferably large bags and easy cook
Other foodstuffs Jars of clear honey, cartons fruit juice/fruit squash, peanut butter, chocolate spread
Milk: whole longlife milk, condensed milk
Baby milk (bottles and cartons of – NOT powder thanks )
Baby food pouches (non-meat)
We already have enough clothes from previous collections.
The only clothes Items we are short of now are:
NEW OR IN VERY GOOD CLEAN CONDITION
Children’s and adult shoes and boots – all sizes – high quality (box by size, tie with strong elastic band)
New underwear for all
Sleeping bags, blankets, duvets
Rugs, camping mats, matting (for insulating floors)
Cooking equipment and utensils, plastic plates – best sorted into kits for easy distribution on ground
Insulating and waterproof materials for tents
Education (backpacks, paper, pencils, scissors, crayons, balls, colouring books, soft toys etc)
Please sort your donations into the categories above and place into clearly labelled boxes or bags. All our volunteers have a huge volume of donations to pack and sort and this will help us enormously – thank you.
DROP OFF POINTS
Please contact our volunteers first to arrange a suitable time for drop off:
RASI-RINE/FAB HUB 31
Moulin d’en Bas
Contact: Nikki McArthur
Last delivery: November 3
Preferred drop off day Thursdays – please message in advance.
Last delivery: tba
Last delivery: tba
(Nr Trie sur Baise)
Email : Mason.email@example.com address
Last delivery October 22
North Dordogne Hub 24800
(nearest town Thiviers)
St Paul La Roche 24800
Tel : 0553629379
If you live in the area then you should join our Hub for news and info at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/266946200312843/
Last delivery: tba
Last delivery: tba
Last delivery: October 22
Last delivery: tba
Please contact the France and Beyond Bordeaux/Bergerac group via this link https://www.facebook.com/groups/1619536878312483/
Clare Bickerton and Rose Dodd (French enquiries)
Last delivery: tba
11120 Sainte Valiere
Last delivery: tba
Smaller items and internet orders can be posted directly to:
Mme N McArthur
Moulin d’en Bas
Many thanks for your continued support.
International Relations Representative
Please click here to meet the team involved in organising this container.
ABOUT FAB HUB 31 and RASI-RINE (Reseau d’Actions Solidaires Internationales & Reseau d’Insertion Nationale des Exiles)
Following the huge success of the social media network group France & Beyond in connecting people to facilitate (among other things) the collection and distribution of aid for refugees, the FAB HUB 31 was formed by Nikki McArthur. Nikki is based in the countryside of the Haute-Garonne and since September 2015 has been a main collection centre for donations of aid for onward distribution to refugees.
Nikki met Stephanie Poncet-Muenier while volunteering in Dunkirk in January 2016. Stephanie was in the process of forming a new charity RASI-RINE (Networks for Actions of International Solidarity and for National Integration of Exiles) and invited Nikki to join her as the International Relations Representative for the French-registered charity, which is based in Blagnac, near Toulouse.
Hub31 is now the main collection point for RASI-RINE and France & Beyond supporters. RASI-RINE works in concert with other charities and funding bodies in France, the UK, Syria and elsewhere to deliver aid to refugees.
Donations for container aid come from grassroots supporters, hospitals and other private and public organisations.
Four containers have successfully reached those in need in Syria and two more are planned for this year and early next.
Donations come in the form of used items (clothes, tents etc), medical and hygiene supplies (unused medicines, nappies etc) and food, as well as more substantial medical equipment such as hospital beds, wheelchairs and ambulances.
ABOUT PEOPLE TO PEOPLE SOLIDARITY
RASI-RINE work closely with People To People Solidarity (P2PS) who are our main link to other similar groups in the UK and charities able to help fund and facilitate our container projects.
P2PS is an umbrella grassroots Facebook and offline movement of ordinary, everyday people each doing what they can to help refugees across Europe and the Middle East.
During the 2015 European refugee crisis there was a well documented grassroots response which sought to fill in the gaps where aid agencies simply couldn’t. As these groups evolved they developed the capacity to ship container aid. Now there are circa 15 UK-wide groups (in addition to RASI-RINE in France) sending a steady flow of containers to Greece, Syria and Lebanon – the three countries where we can send humanitarian aid tax exempt. Lebanon is our most recent development.
Whether from the Scottish Highlands, Cornwall, London or Toulouse, all groups are united by the principle of easing suffering for refugees, particularly with no end in sight to the Syrian civil war.
These groups are increasingly sophisticated in reach, even having sent lifesaving medical equipment such as baby incubators and dialysis machines to Syria, where the medical infrastructure is decimated.
People To People Solidarity has around 6500 members in the main Europe and Middle East response group. The groups have a strong ability to fundraise but need to grow business relationships in order to become even more efficient in shipping aid. Aid is usually shipped through charity partners, in the case of this Lebanon project the partner charity is
Muslims In Need.
We are not a political movement, although we look for political solutions.
We are not a religious organisation, although we welcome all religions.
We recognise that we are all different, but that we all have something to give, and something to learn.
We are, above all, believers in the power of together.
ABOUT MUSLIMS IN NEED
Muslims In Need is a UK-registered charity whose aim is to deliver humanitarian and medical aid to Muslims suffering in various parts of the world.
Muslims in Need works towards projects such as helping orphans and widows, families, refugees, schools, hospitals and dawah organisations. One of the current projects is container aid whereby essential items and donations are collected in various locations in the UK and France.
Ambulances are also purchased and sent in containers by sea to Syria. Donations are trackable from the moment they are given to the moment they are handed over on Facebook and Twitter where progress is updated regularly.
Muslims in Need are funding the latest container delivery to Lebanon in concert with RASI-RINE and France and Beyond.
ABOUT SALAM LADC
SALAM LADC is the charity who will be receiving the donations we send to Lebanon. The goal of this NGO is to bring together a host of large and small organisations (both local and international), volunteers and grassroots initiatives to successfully channel aid and more to where it is needed across Lebanon. Salam works to improve the lives of refugees in Lebanon in many ways: by supporting the education of refugees’ children; by distributing aid including medical aid and even livestock to afford refugees greater food security; by creating the conditions for better integration of refugees into Lebanese society (social events, helping municipal services, first aid training).
The expert on-the-ground knowledge of Salam and their extensive network of partners are essential in assuring NGOs such as Muslims in Need and RASI-RINE, as well as their supporters, of the effective and safe delivery of aid to where it is most needed in Lebanon and into the hands of those most in need.
We thought we’d provide some context about what’s happening in Lebanon to better explain why there is an urgent need for aid there. Thanks to Collette Ridley, from France and Beyond / RASI-RINE HUB31, for this report.
Remember Beirut? The Lebanese city of Beirut was a constant feature in the news throughout the eighties. I remember TV reports peppered with scenes of sectarian violence, car bombs and political assassinations.
In the 16 years since the end of the civil war, the tiny country of Lebanon (the size of Cornwall) has been quietly dragging itself from the rubble out of sight of news cameras. The religious and political divisions are still ever-present though and have made recovery slow and difficult.
Lebanese infrastructure is fragile and, as with any emerging nation, corruption and state incompetence are rife. Against such a backdrop, it seems improbable that this smallest of Middle Eastern countries should be host to the second highest number of Syrians displaced by the Syrian civil war. Yet it’s not hard to see why. Lebanon shares borders with Palestine and Syria and, despite problems at home, the warm Lebanese people have opened their arms to Syrian and Palestinian refugees.
Incomers to Lebanon have swollen the population by nearly half – the UNHCR estimates 1.8 million refugees for a local population of just 4 million.
In a controversial move last year, the buckling Lebanese state closed its borders to refugees. Since then, the UNHCR has been unable to register new refugees (an estimated 500,000 people) on the official refugee lists, thus denying them rights to basic benefits for food and healthcare.
An estimated 70% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in a state of extreme poverty on a mere 70 cents a day (the UN poverty line is $US1.90). These displaced people have little to eat and the quality of water is poor. Refugees have inadequate access to healthcare, and they cannot afford to go to hospital (Lebanon has a privatised healthcare system). Unsurprisingly, the universal health problems and infectious diseases of the poor have raised their ugly heads: malnutrition, cholera, polio, birth defects, and eye and ear infections.
The lightweight, unsewered shacks refugees make for themselves (there are no official refugee camps) are hopelessly ill-suited to either the 40oC plus days of high summer or the freezing conditions of winter. Old and young alike are dying of exposure.
The Lebanese are doing what they can, but the sheer weight of numbers on already inadequate public services such schools, hospitals and even refuse collections has led to a meltdown in provision.
An inevitable uptick in civil unrest in response to this chaos has forced the country to call out for aid, but the world sits by and little is being done. The UNHCR hopes to raise $US1.9 billion to help Lebanon deal with Syrian refugees, but to date less than half that target has been met.
Lebanon sits precariously on the edge of the greatest conflict of our times. In the Middle East the high-income countries of Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain have offered to resettle a total of zero refugees. The wealthy countries of Western Europe, along with the US, would prefer to take none.
Few in the world want to host victims of the Syrian conflict, yet no one is supporting Lebanon do so. Lebanon is alone shouldering the crippling economic demands and demographic changes that nearly 2 million refugees represent to such a small country.
Even so, the role of Lebanon, alongside Turkey and Jordan, is crucial to what happens next. These countries form a buffer zone for refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict. Without Lebanon, Syrians would face a stark choice: go north and west towards Europe, or stay and die.
As the Lebanese watch some of the world’s youngest and most vulnerable refugees helpless in face of the poverty and suffering from malnutrition, disease and exposure, they ask themselves: where is the rest of the world?
CALL TO ACTION
Now is the moment for the world to help Lebanon hold the chalice rejected by so many others. While governments are frozen by inaction as people are dying, you don’t have to be. You can be part of an effective grassroots movement to throw a lifeline to those most in need in Lebanon. Here is how you can make a difference in the greatest humanitarian crisis facing the world today:
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