Here at Nonchalant, we are all about love and respect. We have been in shock this week watching the news and seeing the harrowing images from the English Channel. Families fleeing war-torn countries or persecution aboard tiny, unseaworthy dinghies risking life and limb for a better future for them and their children.
These are unfortunately not isolated incidents and these are only the latest victims that we are seeing, with their vulnerability heightened further by the ongoing pandemic. So what can we do as individuals to enable people to provide vital care for refugee and migrant communities across the globe? Here are a few ways to support one fantastic organisation helping those facing displacement, war, famine and an uncertain future.
Help Refugees are the largest facilitator of aid for refugees in Europe. Founded in 2016, they have since helped over one million displaced people, worked with over 35,000 volunteers and currently support over 120 projects in France, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Turkey, Iraq, Syria and on the US-Mexico border.
Each of these projects is powered by ordinary people who are working tirelessly to provide support, protection and care for those most in need. Volunteers help to keep rescue boats afloat, distribute tents, hot food and drinking water. The conditions can be harsh like in Mexico where they work under the desert sun to place water along the US border. They support others working to build a brighter future, including teachers who work with students to build prosthetic limbs, therapists helping heal the invisible scars of war and lawyers working to reunite families. We have picked some of our favourite Help Refugee fundraising projects that you can donate to now.
Choose Love: Shop
Every item in their store directly funds a product or service in one of the 120 projects that Help Refugees support around the world. So, for example, if you choose to buy a child’s coat, a coat will be given to a child in need in Greece, Iraq or Syria. It’s that simple. So shop your heart out and once you’re done be safe in the knowledge you are helping a grass routes charity deliver much-needed goods and services to people in need.
The site is arranged into three categories: arrival, shelter and future. You can choose from gifts and bundles ranging from wash bags that are essential in fighting COVID-19 in displaced communities to language and skills bundles. Your donations help people access education and re-training to start their new lives and stand on their own feet and you’ll receive a thank you email explaining more about the projects you have chosen to support.
Choose Love: Tees & Apparel
Teaming up with Katharine Hamnett. Help Refugees have created this super cute Choose Love tee – a modern twist on Hamnett’s iconic 80’s Choose Life slogan. This has since paved the way for a whole range of ‘Choose Love’ clothing, all with 100% of the profit being donated to Help Refugees. You can also find the range on ASOS. Below are a few of our top picks:
Choose Love: Pride
You may have seen the Choose Love Pride Pop-up in Covent Garden during Pride month last year. Sadly, due to good old ‘Rona, Help Refugees haven’t been able to repeat this during 2020 but are online instead. They have a new design featuring a diagonal rainbow ‘Choose Love’ logo. All proceeds from this shirt will help fund and support LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers as part of a wider campaign to support this community. Get yours here.
Choose Love: Summer Auction
Friday 14th August to Sunday the 23rd August sees Help Refugees team up with celebrity stylist Aimee Croysdill for an online fashion auction featuring brands such as Mulberry, Sophia Webster, Gucci, Christopher Kane, Moncler, Zimmermann, Grenson, LF Markey, Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Olivia Von Halle and Jenny Packham. Check it some of the items up of sale below. More information can be found here.
The auction offers a unique opportunity to bid for designer clothes, shoes, accessories, homewares and beauty products that have been generously donated by celebrities and designers.
One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to support refugee women and children living in Northern France, where hundreds of children, some as young as eleven, who are growing up in makeshift camps and shelters.
Choose Love: Art
Print Club London and Help Refugees have teamed up to make screen prints using the Choose Love logo, asking artists to contribute a logo of their own. From printmaking to collage and photography these are unique designs and limited edition print runs available to buy. Artists to date who have worked on the project include Ben Eine, Noel Fielding and Sara Pope.
The project launched with an event at Somerset House on World Refugee Day. Lots of the original artworks have now sold out but limited and open edition prints of the pieces are still available here.
Team Nonchalant x x x