THE DIFFERENT MILE

  ©US Department of State

©US Department of State

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As an alternative way to donate, I set up a campaign directly with the German arm of the UNHCR. Click here for more

Last Sunday, I run 20 miles for joy, whilst they trekked thousands of miles for survival. After I finished my run, I returned home. On the other hand, they never will, as they have lost their homes. With "they", I mean millions of people that have left their country and made their way to seek saver surroundings to live in with their families. I could continue this comparison, but I believe the message is clear. Europe and the European Union are facing the biggest refugee crisis in its recent history. 

I do not think I need to elaborate on the statistical side to underline how precarious the situation is. Also, individuals, like myself, sharing their opinion on how we are dealing with the circumstances are not necessary. Nonetheless, allow me to say that it is pretty apparent that we only realize in which state our world is, until an event strikes and directly affects us. Whether we are talking about environmental catastrophes or looking at today's humanistic and social dilemma, which has only been raised to another level by an image of an innocent young Syrian boy, who was washed up dead at a beach in Turkey.    

Running is a selfish activity. As I approach the final month of preparation before the Munich Marathon (11th October 2015), I want to take this opportunity to transform this egocentric sport by giving it a communal meaning. I have the desire to raise money and support the UNHCR that helps incoming refugees on their journey to become an European citizen. I mentioned the idea of moving from A to B. For many of us, it is a rather simple act to progress from one place to another. Yet, the present refugee crisis is a dramatic example of those that cannot. For this reason, I believe we have to help fellow humans to take that hurdle by supporting an organization that facilitates them. It is a long progress, but we can assist, one step at a time. I, but especially the people, will highly appreciate if you join me on this journey, by giving as much as you can. 

WHAT IS THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES?

The UNHCR, also known as UN Refugee Agency, is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people. 

HOW DOES UNHCR HELP REFUGEES DURING THE CRISIS?

UNHCR is on the ground, protecting refugees and providing lifesaving assistance such as shelter, food, water and medical care to refugees arriving in Europe. We are also providing assistance and protection in countries where refugees transit along their journey to Europe.

WHAT DOES UNHCR DO WITH YOUR DONATION?

UNHCR deliver life essential rescue kits containing a thermal blanket, towel, water, high nutrient energy bar, dry clothes and shoes, to every survivor. They set up reception centres where refugees can be registered and receive vital medical care. Furthermore, the organizations provides temporary emergency shelter to especially vulnerable refugees and help children travelling alone by providing specialist support and care.

UNHCR Reports

Syria Regional Refugee Response

Refugees/Migrant Emergency Response - Mediterranean

PRESS ARTICLES

Why is EU with migrants and asylum? - BBC, 1st September 2015  

Reality Check: Europe and the refugee crisis - Al Jazeera, 5th September 2015

Migrant crisis: More troubles in Hungary as Austria, Germany near tipping point - CNN, 7th September 2015