“I am trying to figure out how to keep my mood up, how to avoid to feel like I’m useless, how to keep doing my very best for all these people that are coming our way asking for help.”
I have lost the count of how many people, colleagues, friends and allies have been telling me this in the past few months, and how many times I have myself written or said the same thing to others.
The Refugees Crisis knows no break, no pause. It’s not a phenomenon that is going to get fixed by itself, and it’s not something that we can expect to be solved just by authorities.
“You don’t say”, right? Well, glimpsing at press and social media, I scarily see more denial of this than attempts to properly understand the situation and mobilise accordingly.
Don’t get me wrong, many people and organisations are taking action: from NGOs to private volunteers, from Public Administrations to tech entrepreneurs like the Techfugees community. Thousands of people are replying to the crisis doing their very best.
But fragmentation is still very heavy, it wastes energies and resources beyond measure, and especially makes anyone involved frustrated, even angry and burnout.
When more than a million migrants and refugees cross into Europe in one year, entering and already very unstable and challenged continent, you really cannot think it’s none of your business — be you a European citizen or not.
This is a complex issue. It affects International Institutions and decisions makers just as much as every single one of us, especially the ones whose country is becoming the refugee for people seeking shelter, help, safety.
And it’s OK to feel scared, confused and frustrated cause you don’t know what you can do and how you can take on the responsibility we all know we have.
So here there’s my shortlist of what I think we all can do to tackle this cause in a different way. I will keep updating it, and I will include any contribution I will receive (please contact me if you have any):
- Let’s share content on social media, but knowing that is not enough
We cannot share on our Facebook pages videos of Canada’s Prime Minister personally welcoming thousands of refugee, get likes for it and feeling like that’s enough.That’s not helping the cause, that’s sharing a video.We can do more than that. Creating awareness is important, but it doesn’t get to the bone of the issue. We cannot longer hide behind posting on social media, ignoring what’s left to be done in the real world, where who needs help gets it, or not.
- Let’s not think or act just for the short term goal
We cannot welcome refugees and work for finding them a place where to stay, without working just as hard on inclusion. Refugees Welcome recently launched in Italy too, and I think their global initiative should start being matched with projects focused on training, teaching language, community building.
- Let’s remember that it’s us who create extremists (or not)
Fear, exclusion, rejection, … this is what creates hate and extremism. ISIS and similar groups are just shaping the (scarily effective) campaign to reclute globally those people whose frustrations decide to fall into hate and anger.We are the ones who have the chance to welcome refugees and migrants with kindness, warmth and awareness, overcoming differences because we see what unites us all.We all want one thing: hope. For a better future, for us and for the ones we love. Let’s focus on what unite us, let’s not give space to exclusion.
I’m both personally and professionally (with Flythegap) part of a global community of people aiming to tackle this crisis differently.
I’m going to publish more about how we are designing models to coordinate international efforts, at the level where this match is going to be played: on the ground, between people, between us all.
We will fail only if we stop trying.