The student-led NGOs taking on the refugee crisis

Students attend a first meeting organized by the Student Action for Refugees. Photo by: STAR

BERLIN — In 2015, as the greatest displacement crisis since World War II emerged, a million refugees and migrants arrived on Europe’s shores. Since then, with another 500,000 people arriving in 2016 and 2017, students have been setting up their own nonprofit organizations to help.

Many have been moved to action by watching the situation unfold on television. “I remember the image of the boy on the beach,” said Lucy Shearer, who set up a branch of the charity Student Action for Refugees at her university in the United Kingdom. “When I saw that I thought, this is it, I can’t cope with not doing anything anymore.”

About the author

  • Abby Young-Powell

    Abby Young-Powell is an award-winning freelance journalist and editor based in Berlin. She covers a range of topics for publications including The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and Deutsche Welle. Before working freelance, she was deputy editor of Guardian Students, part of the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper. She is also a fellow of the International Journalists' Programme, after working at Die Tageszeitung in Germany.