Many of us have been shaken by the enormity of the refugee crisis. Every day we are given more information and the numbers are overwhelming. The United Nations refugee agency has reported that the number of refugees and migrants arriving on Lesvos, Greece continues to be high, at an average of 3,300 people per day. It is not only Syrians who are fleeing their homes. Refugees from all over the Middle East including Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan are also desperately escaping their war-torn countries. Last winter 6,000 refugees died from the cold. The young and very elderly are especially prone to hypothermia and pneumonia.
In the face of suffering, how can we take action?
At CODEPINK we created the Local Peace Economy campaign because at the heart of our work is the goal of creating cultural, social and economic models that cultivate justice and a sense of respect. The next step we take after dismantling and walking away from the violent, extractive, war-based economy that allows these conditions to exist, is building up and growing the peace we seek...for not only ourselves and our own communities, but for people everywhere.
To that end...
We are launching a nationwide call to action to support refugees in different ways-- Knitting for Refugees and Letters for Refugees. Join us.
Letters for refugees
In May 2017, CODEPINK will join a trip to Iraq Kurdistan led by the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT). The Kurds of northern Iraq faced discrimination, terror, and death under the regime of Saddam Hussein. As the security situation deteriorated in rest of Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, thousands of displaced persons fled to the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) area in the north, where it seemed safer. However, northern border villages have recently been the site of military attacks by Turkey and Iran.
Write a letter to a refugee today. We’ll collect your letters into a scrapbook and share with refugee camps and displaced communities while in Iraq Kurdistan. You can create a difference in someone's life, someone will create a difference in you.
Recommended Guidelines For Writing Letters to Refugees:
Try to keep it positive!
Don't take on the role of savior.
Write about your authentic self: Who you are, your family, your favorite activities, your daily life, your school, your job.
Describe where you are from - city, state, country.
State why you are writing
You can write the women's peace group CODEPINK encourage you to write a letter
Important Qualities of Authentic Relationships Across Differences by Karen Pace and Dionardo Pizaña, Michigan State University Extension
Letters can be sent to:
PO Box 475142
San Francisco, CA 94147
Items that are in serious need include:
- Gloves, dark colored hats/beanies and socks.
- 100% wool items are preferred, because warmth is a priority, and acrylic can be a fire risk for people living without electricity and in close proximity to open flames, as many refugees do.
- If you are someone who sews, you can also make reusable menstrual pads, which are also in dire need.
Please feel free to also visit our Knitting for Refugees Pinterest Board for images, additional patterns and design inspiration.
Here are a few suggestions for starting:
- Do you knit, crochet or sew or have someone in life who does? Tell them about our call to action & how they can use their skills to help provide comfort and relief for refugees.
- Gather a group of friends and organize a party around making items for refugees. Invite others in your community to join you by creating a Facebook event.
- Click here to find your local knitting, sewing or crocheting group near you and suggest this as project for the group to take on. You can also find groups here.
- Download our Knitting for Refugees Guide and hand it out at your gathering.
- Deliver our flyer to a knitting store near you.
We will support you by posting your event in our Action Calendar, so you may share the event link & use it to invite your community and friends.
DON’T FORGET to submit & post pictures of your gatherings, and images of your finished products to your own Facebook page or Twitter account using the hashtags #knit4refugees and #peaceeconomy.
Packages can be sent to:
2010 Linden Avenue
Venice, CA 90291
Please email [email protected]