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Win tickets to the Love Letters Live show on Valentine’s Day!

We’re so excited to have got our hands on a pair of exclusive tickets for the sold-out Love Letters Live show on Valentine’s Day at Shoreditch Town Hall – and we’re offering them to two lucky Choose Love supporters.

Previous Letters Live events have unearthed letters sent by the likes of David Bowie, Maya Angelou and Che Guevara and placed them in the hands of such luminaries as Benedict Cumberbatch, Olivia Colman, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

We’re sure this event will be just as dazzling.  And we’re thrilled that this special Valentine’s Day event, themed around love letters, will support our amazing projects with refugees. That really is love in action.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply follow both Choose Love and Letters Live on Instagram and tag someone you love in the comments below this post, who you’d like to take with you to the event (make sure they can be in London on Feb 14th!). The winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday 4th February.


Competition Terms and Conditions

1. All entries must be made directly by the person entering the competition, this can be done by liking and commenting on the specified Instagram post and following Choose Love (@chooselove) and Letters Live (@letterslive) on Instagram. Alternatively if the entrant is not on Instagram, we will accept entries via email. Please email contact@helprefugees.org with ‘Letters Live competition’ in the subject line and your full name in the body of the email.

2. Entries made online using methods generated by a script, macro or the use of automated devices will be void.

3. No responsibility can be accepted for entries lost, delayed or corrupted, or due to computer error in transit.

4. No responsibility can be accepted for prizes lost, delayed or corrupted in transit to the winner.

5. The competition will close at 9am Tuesday 4th February. To be eligible, entries must be received on or before the competition closing date.

6. The prizewinner will be decided by Help Refugees. The prizewinner will need to respond within one week of being contacted by email; or the prize will be forfeit and will be awarded to a different entrant selected at random.

7. The right is reserved to terminate or withdraw this contest at any time.

8. All prizes are not transferable, non-refundable, no whole/part cash alternatives.

9. The Promoter will make available the name and county of the winners to anyone who requests this information by writing an email to contact@helprefugees.org.

10. The prizes are as stated in the competition text, are not transferable to another individual and no cash or other alternatives will be offered.

11. Prizes are subject to availability and the prize suppliers’ terms and conditions.

12. The promoters reserve the right to amend or alter the terms of competitions and reject entries from entrants not entering into the spirit of the competition.

13. In the event of a prize being unavailable, the promoter reserves the right to offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value.

14. The winner(s) agree(s) to the use of their name being used online in post-winning publicity.

16. Where applicable, the decision of the judges is final based on the criteria set out in the promotion and no correspondence will be entered into over this decision.

16. Competitions may be modified or withdrawn at any time.

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In Calais we see what happens when refugee children are left out in the cold

In the industrial zone on the edge of Calais, tents are scattered across landfill sites or are perched on slag heaps. Inside sleep unaccompanied refugee children.

It’s still dark and the children are asleep when they are forcibly woken up.

Dressed in riot gear, police shake the children’s tents and shout in French. Frightening enough for adults, it’s terrifying for children. But some of them have become hardened to it and this, too, is unbearably sad.

Sleeping bags are removed, sleep is disrupted and another day of survival in the open begins.

For the 200 or so unaccompanied refugee children currently sleeping rough in northern France, life is impossibly hard. Almost every day begins with an eviction before 9am, an arbitrary and cruel operation carried out by the French authorities to continually displace young people who are already living in desperate conditions.

These are kids who have fled war and insecurity in places such as Afghanistan, Iraqi Kurdistan, Sudan and Eritrea, and who have become separated from their families. Many are orphans, others have found themselves the only member of their family able to escape from terrible situations.

I’ve even seen some as young as eight years old. What unites them all is the wary look in their eyes and the layers of clothes they wear against the cold.

The days drag on as young people sit around fires trying to keep warm. No education, no shelter, no state legal support – none of these fundamental human rights appear to exist for them.  Seeing their situation and the apathy our leaders show to it leaves me in a state of despair and mourning the childhood they are missing.

As Field Manager for Help Refugees in northern France, my job is to coordinate volunteers who work around the clock to meet the most basic needs.  We’ve been providing support here for years; blankets, firewood and hot food for starters. I help safeguard the kids, flagging particularly vulnerable cases to lawyers and others who can help.

The deepest injustice is that while they are living this nightmare on the streets in France, those with family in the UK could be safely at home with them.

Currently, if an unaccompanied refugee child in Europe has any family in the UK, they have a right to be reunited with them. Over the years that I’ve been working here, some children I’ve known have been able to take advantage of this and are now living safely in the UK.

But bureaucracy and foot-dragging on the part of the British government have left many children still stranded, and now the government is trying to scrap the legislation that could give those still here a lifeline to security.

Last week, the House of Commons voted against an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill (the ‘Brexit Bill’) that would have preserved family reunification after Brexit – one of the last legal routes that exists for unaccompanied children to find safety.

The House of Lords just overturned that vote, sending the Bill back to the Commons with a clear signal that this is morally unjustifiable.

We only have a few hours to tell our MPs that this country wants the right to family reunification for lone refugee children enshrined in law once and for all. Please, take action now.


Maddy Allen is Help Refugees Field Manager for northern France. 

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On Samos, we see what happens when refugee children are left out in the cold

When I was a little kid, I lost my mum in the supermarket. I still remember the terror of those minutes vividly. But on the Greek islands, children as young as eight live totally alone in freezing tents, for months at a time.⁣

Yesterday I was told about a ten-year-old unaccompanied child living on Samos. When he was asked what he needed, rather than a sleeping bag, a jacket or food, he asked for a football. He really did need a sleeping bag, a jacket and food, but he didn’t know that. Children aren’t meant to know what they need in order to survive winter. On Samos these kids are forced to understand things, see things, and experience things that no one should – let alone a child.⁣

On Samos, around 400 of these children live alone in the camp and overflow area which surrounds the official compound. They’re left to fend for themselves. They’re constantly cold and dirty and have to queue for hours for food. They don’t go to school, and when night falls they’re exposed to horrifying dangers. Depression, self harm and suicidal tendencies are commonplace among these kids.⁣

Across Europe, there are thousands of unaccompanied refugee children who have family in the UK. But rather than allowing these children to escape tortuous conditions and reunite with family members, the UK government is trying close family reunion for lone refugee children after Brexit.⁣

It is easy to see politics as something big, abstract and irrelevant, but here on Samos we can see the devastating impact of hostile refugee policies on a daily basis. ⁣

Some of the children here are so traumatised they scream out in their sleep. We cannot turn our backs on these most vulnerable children. We should all be screaming out.”⁣

 



Hannah is a Field Manager for Help Refugees on the Greek island of Samos.

TAKE ACTION: if you’re based in the UK, please take a few minutes to contact your MP.

 

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We’re hiring! Apply to join Help Refugees as our new Digital Fundraising Manager

DIGITAL FUNDRAISING MANAGER

Are you an experienced digital fundraiser with a flair for communication?

Are you motivated by a love of humanity that knows no borders?

Choose Love/ Help Refugees is looking for a Digital Fundraising Manager to join our small and collaborative team in London.

You will have substantial digital fundraising or digital marketing experience and be passionate about digital innovation, as well as about the rights of those who have been forced to flee their homes.  You love creative communications, data, and raising funds to support our incredible humanitarian partners.

This is an exciting opportunity to become part of an organisation that has had digital at its heart since the beginning. Started as little more than a hashtag to organise donations in response to the refugee crisis in 2015, in less than five years we have grown to be a movement that has worked with over 35,000 volunteers and provided aid to over a million people.

An incredible number of people have become part of the Help Refugees movement, but the scale of the refugee crisis is even bigger. The Digital Fundraising Manager will play a key role in taking our response to the next level, recruiting new online supporters and deepening the engagement of existing ones.

You will work with the Director of Communications and Campaigns and others across the organisation to help develop and deliver our digital fundraising strategy, rolling it out across social, our websites, email and marrying up with offline events too.

ABOUT HELP REFUGEES

In August 2015, a group of friends started using the hashtag #helpcalais to organise a van full of donations. Within a week, we had raised £56,000 and were soon receiving 7,000 items every day.

We are now one of the largest providers of grassroots humanitarian aid in Europe, and currently support over 120 projects across Europe, the Middle East and US-Mexican border.

Each of these projects is powered by ordinary people who are stepping up where governments are failing to provide even the most basic services. From those keeping rescue boats afloat, to the volunteers distributing tents and hot food, to the brave souls working under the desert sun to place water along the Mexican border.

We also support those working to build a brighter future — the teachers working with students to build prosthetic limbs, the therapists helping heal the invisible scars of war and the lawyers working to unite families.

Our ‘Choose Love’ brand has been worn by Oprah, Julia Roberts, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and thousands more across the world. Our ‘buy nothing’ pop-up stores in London, New York and LA have raised more than four million and gained headlines in New York Times, The Guardian and CNN. Our founders have addressed audiences including Barack Obama, Sheryl Sandberg and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

ABOUT YOU

You choose love 

You are motivated by a love of humanity that knows no borders.

You are a doer 

You spot opportunities for impact and make things happen. You are comfortable working on scrappy passion projects and longer-term strategic campaigns. A good day is when you’ve done something to change the world.

You are a creative communicator 

You know the world is changed by stories and you want to be at the heart of telling them. You can communicate complex ideas with clarity, powerful stories with passion and understand how to move people.

You are curious 

You know good ideas can come from anywhere and are constantly looking at the world around you for inspiration.

You are a team player

You work best when part of a small, collaborative team. You are happy to muck in when needed and the words ‘not my job’ have never crossed your lips.

You are entrepreneurial

You think beyond the limits of your current role. You take risks, celebrate failure and never stop generating ideas.

ABOUT THE ROLE

You’ll be responsible for:

  • Helping develop and deliver Help Refugees’ digital fundraising strategy.

  • Inspiring Help Refugees’ growing community of supporters by creating compelling fundraising campaigns and delivering them across email, social media, website, and marrying up with offline.

  • Tracking and analysing donor data and digital analytics to inform your work and the efforts of the organisation.

  • Overseeing social media advertising. We’re lucky enough to get pro bono support from Google and facebook. We want you to use it most effectively to enable people to connect with us, grow the movement, and increase donations.

  • Keeping up-to-date with the latest digital fundraising and marketing trends, techniques and technology.

  • Supporting the leadership team on fundraising from high-level individual givers and foundations.

  • Occasional management of contractors and project teams.

  • Working with communications and campaigns colleagues to integrate digital fundraising and advocacy/ campaigning.

Essential Requirements 

  • Track record of success in digital fundraising or marketing with at least three years’ experience

  • Demonstrable experience of understanding donor behaviour and inspiring people to give

  • Confident and sophisticated communicator with strong writing skills

  • Experience managing or working with a medium to large community of online givers (+50,000)

  • Demonstrable experience in using data and analytics to segment audiences and target content that has resulted in more support

The Big Pluses 

Ideally you will bring at least one of these to our work:

  • Experience with online fundraising in the model of new movement organisations (Avaaz, Sum of Us, 38 Degrees)

  • Experience using ActionKit or a similar platform

  • Experience working in the field of humanitarian aid, refugees or migration

  • Experience with mobile technology, online giving platforms and website design

  • Track record of using social media platforms to fundraise

THE DEAL 

The role will be managed by the Director of Communications and Campaigns.

The role is based out of the Help Refugees office in Somerset House, London. Part-time and/or remote working will be considered if you can be in London weekly.

The role may involve some infrequent travel.

The role will be offered as a permanent role with a six-month probation period, starting as soon as possible.

Salary is in line with other non-governmental organisations.

HOW TO APPLY 

Please apply with a cover letter (of no more than two pages) outlining your suitability for the role and a copy for your CV to jobs@helprefugees.org.

We will be reviewing and interviewing before the closing date.

Application deadline: 9am, Wednesday 26 February.

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