Refugee Response: 12 Next Steps to Take

Where do I start?

12 next steps you can take to get involved with the refugee crisis

  1. Hear firsthand from Syrians living in Aleppo. Follow along on Twitter:
  • Dr. Omar Ibrahim, a Syrian neurosurgeon who has been tweeting about the situation in Aleppo (@Neurosurg_Omar).
  • Bana Alabed, a Syrian seven-year-old who, with help from her mother, has been tweeting about the situation in Aleppo (@AlabedBana). Nicholas Kristof wrote an op-ed about her for the New York Times. 
  1. Broaden other voices you listen to on social media. Follow these organizations:
  1. Join the conversation on social media through one of these campaigns:
  • #StandWithAleppo: build awareness of the crisis in Aleppo and other Syrian cities and put pressure on public figures to respond.
  • #RefugeesWelcome: show your support or even share a selfie.
  1. Hear stories about and from refugees.
  • RCA Today wrote a story about Ponds Reformed Church in Oakland, New Jersey, which opened its doors to Sandy Khabbazeh, a refugee from Aleppo, Syria. Read the story, as well as a letter Sandy wrote to the 2016 General Synod.
  • Read a reflection from Patricia Johnson after visiting Italy and seeing the impact of the refugee crisis on women, primarily those who have experienced human trafficking.
  • Read how Michigan couple, Caitlin and Brent Boersma, took in refugee children through foster care.
  • Be inspired by how Canadian churches have taken in refugees and displaced people.
  • Humans of New York published two series on the refugee crisis, one about Syrian Americans and the other about refugees
  • Migrants tell their own stories at www.iamamigrant.org.
  • The BBC published a Snapchat documentary about the crisis.
  1. Learn what advocacy is and how to conduct fruitful advocacy efforts and campaigns. Check out some of these resources:
  • World Vision has published A Citizen's Guide to Advocacy, a manual that can be used by individuals, small groups, or whole congregations.
  • The Christian Reformed Church in North America has developed two guides, one for Canada and one for the United States, that explain biblical advocacy. You can find both at justice.crcna.org/action-center.
  • For great grassroots advocacy steps to take in your state or province, contact Noel Andersen, national grassroots coordinator for Church World Service.
  • Discover additional advocacy opportunities in Canada at www.ccrweb.ca.
  1. Encourage your elected officials to support refugees.
  1. Stay up to date on advocacy work. Subscribe to:
  1. Start a petition.
  1. Write an op-ed. Brush up on your writing skills.
  2. Watch a film or news coverage about refugees.
  • Salam Neighbor is a film created by two American filmmakers who lived in a Syrian refugee camp to chronicle the lives and stories of their displaced neighbors. Find it on Netflix.
  • The White Helmets is a documentary about a group of first responders who risk their lives to rescue victims of the Syrian civil war. Find it on Netflix.
  • 60 Minutes aired an episode on October 16, 2016, that follows refugee families in a Jordanian camp through the vetting process before being approved to come to the United States. (Subscription required to view.)
  1. Gather more information. Here are a few places to start:
  1. Plan a worship service that focuses on refugees and hospitality.