By Kriss Deiglmeier, CEO, Tides
As we come to the end of 2015, our world grapples with the sorrow of war, violence, and displacement and the uncertainties of political, environmental, and economic change. The needs that surround us are immense. Yet we are more informed, interconnected, and able to contribute to solutions than ever before.
We must come together to deliver meaningful responses to our current refugee crisis, the largest since World War II. According to a November report by World Vision, 12 million Syrians have fled their homes because of conflict. Half of these people are children. It’s daunting to navigate the political complexities of relocation and resettlement, and it’s hard to know how to help in the effort to provide for basic needs as winter nears.
Source – World Vision
The threat of welcoming refugees has been excessively overdramatized. As immigration policy analyst Alex Nowrasteh points out, “Of the 859,629 refugees admitted from 2001 onwards, only three have been convicted of planning terrorist attacks on targets outside of the United States, and none was successfully carried out. That is one terrorism-planning conviction for every 286,543 refugees that have been admitted. To put that in perspective, about 1 in every 22,541 Americans committed murder in 2014.”
It is easy to react to tragedies like the attacks in Paris with heightened concern for our own security. Yes, the challenges are complex and we do not have all the answers. However, in the world of knowledge and interdependence that we live in today we have the expertise and reach to make progress on lasting solutions. Most importantly, we can’t ignore the plight of refugees, and we can’t ignore our shared humanity.
Like us, refugees need clean water, food, and shelter. Like us, they need safe environments for their children to play and attend school. And like us, they need the opportunity to earn a living and provide for their families.
I believe that by directing our resources and our actions for positive impact, we can make a difference. As you open your hearts and charitable giving as the year-end nears, I encourage you to contribute to the issues that are most meaningful and personal to you. I also encourage and to take a stand for the humanity of all through supporting those in crisis and dire need.
At a minimum we must support emergency efforts to alleviate suffering. These organizations work tirelessly to provide food, shelter, and emergency shelter to uphold basic human dignity.
Tides has partnered with several organizations, individuals and collectives to administer grants to effective relief organizations around the world. Currently, we are working hand in hand with Google to match $5.5 million in donations to humanitarian relief for refugees and migrants. Here are several other organizations worth supporting.
Organizations working in the field can understand needs and are best equipped to work with local communities to develop lasting solutions. The following organizations invest in longer term initiatives to address the root causes of suffering and instability.
This holiday season, let’s focus our good intentions and resources into action that helps those most in need. Let’s reach out meaningfully to our neighbors - at home and around the globe - and remember that our world is deeply interconnected.
With deep appreciation to each of you in the Tides community for your work to create a more just, sustainable world of opportunity and shared prosperity.