Thousands of refugees are coming to Europe every week, and while governments and political institutions are facing difficulties in managing the situation, the civil society in the European states appears to have taken the lead. Different organizations worldwide are implementing projects in order to help refugees to adjust themselves psychologically, emotionally and physically with the crisis. But what does it really feel like to be a refugee? Lost in confusion…without a comfortable place to live, without a comfortable place to reach.
”All I want is to be a normal human being with a job and to be reunited with my family.” -says Syamend, a Syrian refugee, who shares his story with Refugee Action, a British non-profit organization. Another Refugee Voice is the one of Dariush who feels very small in front of his problems: “It’s incredible, how big your problems are when you are homeless in a strange city”.
Dariush, Syamend and thousands of refugees are just normal humans facing negative and challenging experiences that prevent them from living the normal life they deserve. As we think of it, we understand that the refugee crisis requires a multidimensional approach to be managed and solved, a complex approach that could not be handled only by the politicians. Fortunately in some European countries such as France, Germany, UK, even the civil society is being engaged to make a little change that will mean a lot to the refugees.
As every normal person when refugees arrive in the host countries they need comfort, in terms of living conditions and food. A citizen’s movement in France in 20012 established SINGA, which at present is a non-profit organization offering to the refugees not only a room for living, but also emotional support and human kindness. Their project under the name of Comme a la Maison (CALM) (Feels like Home), aims to organize social activities that will help the refugees adapt to the new societies they are joining. They are organizing entertainment activities, sports, food-sharing, yoga, information sessions and so on, where everyone is invited to join, especially the refugees.
Aspiring to offer a place to stay, they are connecting the refugees with people and hosts that can offer accommodation, and they are also spreading their project worldwide as to offer equal opportunities to every refugee in need for a better life, so their living conditions do not remain a matter of luck any more, but something that with human kindness can be somehow solved. Recently SINGA is planning to launch a digital platform that will ease the procedures and will make their project more accessible, at the same transparent. CALM seems to be a very promising project as it is not directed only towards accommodation and living conditions which of course are the basics but not the only one to be fulfilled, thereof CALM is offering opportunities of entertainment, employment and social cohesion for asylum seekers and refugees which will make refugees feel like home, safe and sound.