What You Can Do To Help People Suffering In The Syrian Refugee Crisis

07/09/2015 7:35 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Migrants walk from the main station in Dortmund, Germany, to a hall where they get first attendance Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. Thousands of migrants and refugees arrived in Dortmund by trains. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

The images flashed around the world of the body of asylum-seeking toddler Aylan Kurdi washed up on a beach shocked many of us.

More than 10,000 people have signed an Amnesty International petition, calling on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to change regulations to allow 20,000 Syrian refugees to settle here.

While a bit of clicktivism might doesn't hurt, there are more practical ways to help -- even from the other side of the world.

So what can you do?

Here is a list of some ways to aid the asylum crisis you can support.

Toilet paper, toothpaste and hygiene products

Red Cross, Red Crescent is assisting 3.5 million people in Syria, focusing on providing food, shelter, warmth and hygiene to fleeing people.

The hygiene kits, which cost as little as $25, contain a month's supply of bathroom essentials.

"Providing sanitary kits to families is expected to lift a huge burden," volunteer Mohammed said.

"Prices are very high and employment options are scarce. Finding work is difficult for them. This lowers their monthly expenses."

Read more from the Australian Red Cross Syria Crisis Appeal.

refugee camp

Go on a trek, or climb a mountain to fundraise

"Some brave people climb a mountain or trek the jungle, others have run marathons in their home town. Many have hosted dinners with their friends and family. Some have supported our appeals and used water or hunger as a theme," Oxfam posted on its website.

"Essentially, you can do whatever you want and we will be here to support you."

Or, you can make a direct donation. The organisation said $240 would give 50 people living in refugee camps in Jordan access to a shower.

Read more from the Oxfam Australia Syria Crisis Appeal and how to fundraise for Oxfam.

Support efforts to pluck asylum seekers from the ocean

Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) is operating three rescue ships in the Mediterranean Sea between Libya and Italy. The ships can pick up hundreds of people a day trying to escape to Europe, often in inflatable boats.

Lindis Hurum, Médecins Sans Frontières Emergency Coordinator on the ship Bourbon Argos said: “My most touching memory would be of Senait, a young Ethiopian woman who, at eight months pregnant went into labour just after she was rescued. Like any father to be, excited and nervous about the birth of his first child, her husband Joseph did not leave her side. The young couple was medically evacuated to allow Senait to deliver her baby safely in Italy. Our team is now anxiously awaiting news of the baby’s arrival.”

Read more from the MSF efforts in the Mediterranean.

refugee boat

Help kids stay in school

While efforts are underway to feed, clothe and shelter children, UNICEF is also trying to keep their education going.

"For more than 5 million Syrian children, life has been put on hold as the conflict in their home country enters its fifth year," UNICEF reports.

"These children, who have had limited or no access to education or healthcare for several years, are the same children who are to be Syria’s next generation of teachers, lawyers, doctors and leaders. In Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, more than 700,000 displaced Syrian refugee children are unable to attend school because the overburdened national education infrastructure cannot cope with the extra student load."

Read more from UNICEF's Syria Crisis Appeal.

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