10,000 Icelanders open hearts and homes to refugees

May this spirit of generosity and sharing spread throughout the world.

May the beautiful spirit of the world’s people overwhelm those “governments” that still prefer fear to love.

Iceland Said It Would Only Take 50 Syrian Refugees, So 10,000 Icelanders Offered Up Their Own Homes

Posted on Sep 1, 2015

by Natasha Hakimi Zapata


Syrian refugees at a camp in in Suruc, Turkey. Procyk Radek / Shutterstock

Sometimes governments fail miserably to reflect the humanitarian desires of their own people. However, Icelanders have proven that the power of the people can be more effective than many believe.

From Slate:

Iceland recently announced it was willing to help with the growing humanitarian disaster in Syria that is sending Syrians fleeing for safety by the thousand to Turkey, Europe, and beyond. The Icelandic government offered to take 50 Syrian refugees in Iceland a country of some 330,000 people. As far as offers of help go, it didn’t come off as particularly heartfelt or overwhelming.

In response to their government’s paltry offer, Icelanders stepped up to try to fill the humanitarian void. Spurred on by a plea from a leading Icelandic author, more than 10,000 people in Iceland offered to host Syrian refugees on a Facebook page called “Syria is calling.”

Here are a couple of examples of the offers that flooded in over a 24-hour period via the Iceland Review Online:

“I’m happy to look after children, take them to kindergarten, school and wherever they need. I can cook for people and show them friendship and warmth. I can pay the airfare for one small family. I can contribute with my expertise and assist pregnant women with pre-natal care.”

“I have an extra room in a spacious apartment which I am more than happy to share along with my time and overall support.”

Read more.

Now, in response to the posts, Iceland’s government is apparently reconsidering its original, shamefully low offer.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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