10 ‘Migrant Crisis’ Stories to Rekindle Your Faith in Humanity

It’s been a tough couple of weeks in terms of heart-rending news and I’ve noticed lots of people becoming overwhelmed by it all and – not really knowing how else to react – turning away from the bombardment of pain and switching off. Then photographs of Aylan Kurdi seemed to kickstart the old empathy for a lot of people, and while it’s clearly a shame that so many people need a photograph of a three-year-old boy face-down in the sea before they can muster up the humanity to care about such widespread suffering, well, at least they got there in the end.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve noticed a lot more positive stories are beginning to arise. The empathy is spreading – or maybe it’s just being reported more. With that in mind, I thought I’d collect some of those positive stories here. I find them all very moving, and at the heart of them there is hope. And hope is important. Also, if you want to question the motives of anyone choosing to help, please do it elsewhere. Thanks.


1. Refugees are welcomed and applauded at Westbahnhof Railway Station in Austria…

A heartwarming demonstration of between 20K to 30K people in Vienna welcomed refugees. Citizens rallied in protest of the inhumane treatment….

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM_6XK_sfDQ]



2. UK towns and cities offer their support…

Liverpool for one, who have offered to take in 100 refugees. A hundred may not seem that many, but every little helps. As Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson told Juice FM:

Other cities and other towns, if they did likewise that would certainly help the situation. It’s not gonna make the situation go away… I’m not suggesting for one minute that what we do, or what this country does, is gonna end that particular crisis, but we’ve all got to accept our responsibility that we need to do something….

Here are a few pics from Facebook of other groups that are springing up…


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And a few minutes ago the BBC reported that 40 UK councils have offered their support.


3. Every little helps. Back in Liverpool, even Tesco are chipping in…

This wonderful little story courtesy of Adam Kelwick.
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4. ‘Too many’ donations in Germany…

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Full story here.


5. Millionaires who care…

Louisiana entrepreneur Christopher Catrambone and his wife Regina spent £8m on a rescue boat, which as we speak, they are putting to incredible use. In-depth report here. More here.

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Another millionaire not unaccustomed to putting his money where his wonderfully dirty mouth is is Bob Geldof. Here he is pledging to give a home to refugees and calling out the (fucking) government into the bargain.


6. Calaid, the Worldwide Tribe and Jaz O’Hara…

As far as I can tell (not that it matters), Calaid was the first grassroots campaigning group to form in response to the crisis at Calais, and they continue to do ever more sterling work, coordinating efforts and providing a hub for a great many different groups. Closely connected to Calaid is the Worldwide Tribe and documentary maker Jaz O’Hara. You can read Jaz’s experience here, and if you haven’t already, you really should.


You can help the documentary get made by pledging to the Kickstarter campaign.


7. Ordinary Britons get their hands dirty…

‘Who are the Britons?’ ‘We all are. We are all Britons.’ Quite. Excellent Guardian compendium of ordinary folk moved to action.



8. Lawyers donate billable hours…

Lawyers have a bad reputation. They’re paid too much for doing bugger all and at the heart of it, unless they’re doing pro bono work, they probably couldn’t give a toss for anyone but themselves. Right? Am I right? Well, turns out, maybe not. Check it

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9. Stories of everyday heroes helping Syrian refugees…

This is a slightly older story but I just discovered it today and there are some wonderful tales of ordinary people going above and beyond. The Guardian article here was basically culled from this Facebook page here. Either are worth a look.



10. Why Mum’s gone to Iceland…

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In an open letter to the country’s welfare minister, Icelandic author Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir wrote of the refugees:

They are our future spouses, best friends, the next soul mate, a drummer for our children’s band, the next colleague, Miss Iceland in 2022, the carpenter who finally finishes the bathroom, the cook in the cafeteria, a fireman and television host. People of whom we’ll never be able to say in the future: “Your life is worth less than my life.”

Full story here.

So you see? We’re not all terrified people peddling distrust and fear of ‘the other’, or even in some cases urging violence. On the contrary, I am firmly of the belief that there are more human beings whose instinct when they see a fellow human being suffering is to care and to extend warmth and love.

Feel free to let me know of any other positive stories to arise out of this otherwise horrific situation in the comments. I’d be very grateful.


Keep hope alive!


About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you’ll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven’t already.

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