Online seminar for volunteering at Europe's (external) borders
10. Keep getting involved!
Back in everyday life, many volunteers and activists ask themselves how they can stay involved: How can you use your experience and knowledge to further engage in counteracting the situation? Where can you get involved? We have some tips and suggestions for you on how to plan short-term actions or get involved in long-term projects in your neighbourhood! .
Why is it important to share your experiences?
Use your experiences and insights to inform people around you about the situation at the external borders!
- As a returning volunteer and/or activist, you have the chance to tell people first-hand about the actual situation at Europe's borders and thus establish a personal connection that can enable a more conscious engagement with the situation on the ground and problems prevailing there.
- Because: It makes a big difference whether you hear about the situation at the external borders on the news or a person tells you personally about their experiences!
- You are sitting at the source of information and personal impressions that can also motivate others to become active - be it through a decision in the next election, in discussions at the workplace, or through donations.
How can I share my experiences?
- You can talk about your experiences in personal conversations.
- You can organise an information event.
- You can write a report and share it (publicly).
- You can contact the local press and offer a report and/or an interview.
Do you need support with the implementation?
- We at Wind are happy to offer you a platform for your experiential report and publish it on our website and on our social media. We are also very happy to support you in the writing process! If you are interested, just write to us at "email@example.com"!
- You don't know how to organise an event on your own or would like to write a report together with other volunteers? Then try to network with other volunteers you know from the field who are also back home. You can also ask your project for support in organising an information event, and ask for official information or presentations, for example.
Continue to support your project from home
How can you continue to support your support project or other projects on the (external) borders from home?
- Stay in touch with people on the ground, the coordinators and other volunteers and activists you have worked with!
If something like this doesn't already exist, suggest a shared mailing list or messenger group. This way, people "on the ground" can keep former volunteers up to date and inform everyone about specific fundraising activities, petitions, volunteer needs and policy changes etc. so that you can continue to support the project in a relatively easy and targeted way.
- Above all, advocacy and fundraising strategies are of great importance for sustainable support!
By publicly reporting on your project or organising fundraising events, you can raise awareness and probably help your project and the cause the most! There can never be enough coverage - als long as it is the right kind that increases political pressure. So feel free to check out the respective units on our website again, both are good ways to continue supporting your project in the longer term after your stay.
- Try to recruit more volunteers for the same project if you think it's valuable from your experience.
For example, tell people in your sports club, at your workplace or at your school / university about the experiences you have had and/or address people specifically. Due to your direct experience, you can answer important questions, communicate the need for this work and also convey the important criteria and requirements for your project directly to potential volunteers.
Stay active in your home environment
How can I stay active from home?
Not only directly at the external borders, but also in your own neighbourhood, you can always campaign for the needs of refugees and people seeking protection at Europe's external borders and in European societies. Structural racism and structures of oppression do not stop here, and can above all be fought more sustainably in everyone's home environment.
Join demonstrations and protests and become politically active!
- Look for local groups that organise demonstrations, rallies or other creative actions to draw attention to the situation of people on the move at the external borders and in Germany. Join and bring your friends! If there are no such groups in your area, contact existing campaigns and organisations in other cities and ask them for support or ideas to build structures where you live. There are many resources you can use.
- Learn about the local political situation and decisions affecting the situation of refugees! Where does it make sense to take action? Where do you see a need for information or engagement? Are there people and politicians who advocate the reception and wellbeing of people on the move? Write letters and emails to local politicians and your MPs!
Support refugees and migrants in your neighbourhood!
- In other European countries, too, people seeking asylum experience legal and social restrictions. Many of them have to live isolated in camps for long periods of time and have only limited access to social life.
- In almost every place of accomodation there are also organisations that support refugees in various ways and do valuable work. The work ranges from helping out and engaging in encounter spaces, assisting with visits to authorities, translate, providing legal support to people, to organising and/or participating in public campaigns and demonstrations.
- Local organisations that help refugees and support structures directly at the accomodation centres can be a good starting point when looking for becoming active again.
How can I stay informed?Here, you will find a few links, campaigns and initiatives that may help you in your search and, above all, help you to stay informed!
- To support illegalised people in Germany: Solidarität muss praktisch werden
- Civil resistance against European migration and border policies: Europe Must Act
- Network Solidarity City EU
- Seebrücke (Germany)
- Initiative to collectively rethink the European approach to migration, with cities and human rights at its core Vom Meer in die Stadt
Questions? Critical feedback? Ideas? Additions?We are very happy to receive feedback and helpful hints from you! Just email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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