CalAid and the Refugee Crisis: What you can do to help

The ongoing refugee crisis is something that none of us can ignore, but a lot of us don’t know how to help. This week, in between getting sick in the toilets and getting lost in the cobbled corners of Edinburgh, here are some easy things you can do to help those who are really in need.
Get informed – know what’s going on. Not only can you impress the edgy boy in halls but it also means you’ll be able to have an informed discussion about the issues at hand. It’s also a great way to test your brand-new laptop and dodgy halls’ wi-fi. Just have a scroll through the internet, you won’t even have to make a trip to the dreaded library. No longer will you have to sit quietly whilst the politics student go at it, you can add your own tuppence worth. But be careful, there’s a lot of information floating around social media, so make sure to get yours from a credible source. If you’re not sure about something you read, you can send it in to the Red Cross “Get the Story Straight” blog and they’ll check it for facts and fairness.

Once you’ve got your head round the situation, you can start to lend a hand. Has your mum overloaded you with rotten hand-knitted jumpers? Got about 70 bottles of deodorant from Aunt Vera in your freshers pack? Take a stroll to Studio 24 on Calton Road and donate your stuff to CalAid Edinburgh. It’s open from 2 – 7pm Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, so make the trip and after that, keep on walking and catch your first view from the top of Calton Hill. Two birds, one stone. They’re a group who are donating goods to the refugees stranded in Calais. Check out their facebook page “CalAid Edinburgh” for a list of accepted goods. Until 25th September you can also drop your donations off to the EUSA collection point in Potterow.

If you’ve not got anything spare, what about doing some fundraising? There’s no doubt that once you catch a glimpse of the facilities (and the talent) at the CSE, you’ll be inspired to get fit. There’s no shortage of runs walks and cycles through the university year, so why not fundraise for any charity helping those who are stranded in various camps across Europe? It’s not only a lovely thing to do, but an excellent way to make friends. Join the Edinburgh University Athletic Club or the Hares and Hounds to get your training underway!

Throughout history, students have been right on the cusp of social change. They have been the voices of those who cannot speak for themselves. They have shown solidarity with the most downtrodden of the world. Let’s not let that die under our watch. It’s so easy to get involved, it’s so easy to help people. Make the very most out of Freshers Week, make an effort to help somebody that really needs it.

Image Credit: www.CalAid.co.uk

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