The Weekly Round-Up: The State of Refugees

The Weekly Round-Up: The State of Refugees

Posted on in Refugees.


Welcome to The Briefing newsletter by Jason Clarke and Will Maddox.
What we’re thinking about: The state of refugees around the world.

As we read this newsletter, there are over 65 million people around the world making the best of incomprehensible situations. For those in Europe – specifically those in cities receiving thousands of refugees by the week – the influx of refugees has sparked a debate about the future of Europe regarding its cultural make-up. For others, safety and security are driving the conversation. But for refugees, as we will read below, it is a matter of life or death: “Will my children be safe?” “Will our things be stolen?” and “Where will we sleep?” These are the basic thoughts and concerns for so many.

We picked the following news stories to highlight the refugee journey of a Syrian family crossing the Black Sea; a group African refugees changing their life and making life better for others through soccer; the reality of national politics in Europe; and innovative charities working to help and advocate for refugees.

Black Sea Routes

As crossing the Mediterranean Sea has become more tenuous, smugglers have started to test the Black Sea as a way to get refugees from the Middle East to Europe. The Black Sea’s treacherous weather makes the journey more difficult than the Mediterranean, and Romanian officials are consistently rescuing boats that are near capsizing, or finding the wreckage of drowned ships.

Al Jazeera

Peace Games

A Congolese refugee living in Uganda started a soccer league where players from a wide range of nationalities, which are often in conflict with one another, peaceably play the beautiful game. The program grew from a simple sports tournament in 2008 to Young African Refugees for Integral Development, which includes job preparation and placement and a center for technology and innovation.  It also won a $100,000 grant for women’s vocational training and gender-based violence awareness classes, helping 3,500 refugees along the way.


Sent Back

As the violence in Syria subsides, refugees in Germany may be sent back to the war-torn region. The sizable influx of refugees from the Middle East in 2015 has put political pressure on German leaders to return displaced persons to Syria if the federal interior ministry determines it is safe enough to return. No European country has ever forcibly returned refugees to their home country.

Chicago Tribune

Help Refugees

In London, patrons of a pop-up store called Choose Love can pick out and purchase items to be distributed to refugees in need. The store is from UK-based charity Help Refugees, and provides blankets, sanitary items, tents and other supplies to refugees.