Current Refugee Situation in Europe: a Message from the European Scout Committee

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by European Scout ... from Switzerland
Publication date: 11th Sep 2015

In view of the current refugee situation in Europe, the European Scout Committee of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) has issued the following message about the current refugee situation to National Scout Organisations and National Scout Associations in the European Region:

All of us have felt our hearts go cold when we saw the awful pictures of the suffering of refugees who have arrived from many destinations and have experienced many different situations – rejection, aggression and sometimes even hatred.

Many of us feel helpless, unable to deal with such a massive humanitarian crisis. Many refugees end up somewhere in Europe and many citizens have started different actions to support them - with basic needs (clothes, food, shelter), with help in the refugee applications and simply with kind, caring gestures so that they do not feel alone and criminalised for fleeing where they felt unsafe. Many of us have been looking for a way to help but are not sure where to start.

There is a clear need now for basic goods for the refugees who are still camping outside: clothes, rain jackets, backpacks, toothbrushes and diapers, baby food or toys for the children.

If you have any suggestions, if you have explored the topic with your Scouts, if you are supporting actions, if your Scouts are doing actions to help, please share the information with us so we can collect stories about all your actions and publish them, helping other Scouts be guided into supporting the actions of their communities, showing their Scout scarves and trying, with others, making this world a better place.

The existing Memorandum of Understanding between UN’s High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and WOSM may help you in supporting your actions.

The picture shows Scout and Guide Leaders from the 1st Wiener Neustadt Scout and Guide Group (PPÖ, Austria) bringing donated items to the central refugee assistance point at Vienna’s Central Train Station.

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