Along with the rest of the world, you probably read or listen to the daily news and your heart breaks for the millions who are displaced as a result of the crisis in Syria. What can we do? What are some ways we can help alleviate the suffering? We’ve pulled together some resources with ways we can help from right here in Lausanne. If you know of any other ways, please let us know! Below is a short video by the UN Refugee Agency highlighting their campaign #TakeNotice:

1. Bag to the Future. A local non-profit organization collecting backpacks with supplies for refugee children aged 0-12 (details are on their Facebook page). Bags can be dropped off in two Lausanne locations: Ecole Nouvelle de la Suisse RomandeChemin de Rovereaz 20, 1012 Lausanne, and IMD Business SchoolChemin de Bellerive 23, 1003 Lausanne.

2. Become a host family. This is definitely not for everyone, but if you feel inspired to open your home, this is probably one of the most rewarding and practical ways to help.

3. Make a donation. The Guardian has a comprehensive list of organizations that are helping in the crisis as well as, so you can choose where you’d like to help.

4. Stay informed. Sign up for the UN’s Refugee Agency’s email updates so you can make sure you know what’s going on around the world and how you can be involved.

5. Use social media to spread awareness. Staying silent is one of the worst things you can do, hashtags like #TakeNotice, and #RefugeesWelcome are inspiring global awareness and even encouraging people to take action.

And if you haven’t seen it yet, here is a multi-award winning video entitled ‘If London was like Syria‘-we really recommend you watch and share.


  1. In some Swiss 'communes' where refugees are living in the underground civil protection dorms (the so-called 'abris PC'), the community has mobilised, and associations organise weekly suppers, games, or other opportunities to exchange. This is a great way to interact, and gain direct understanding on what challenges refugees face concretely. Added benefit: widened concept of humanity…and possibly stimulating friendships that step out of the expected.

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