• Iceland Accepts Refugees

Last month the government of Iceland said they could take 50 refugees into their country.

However, the Icelandic author, Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir, thought differently. She presented the case for refugees on her Facebook page.

Twelve thousand people offered to accept refugees into their home. That is 4 per cent of the total population of Iceland.

Four per cent of US population equals 12 million people. Do you think that many U.S. people would respond?

The Icelandic author said “we want to push the government—show them that we can do better, and do so immediately.”

Refugees are human resources, experience and skills. Refugees are our future spouses, best friends, our next soul mate, the drummer in our children’s band, our next colleague, Miss Iceland2022, the carpenter who finally fixes our bathroom, the chef in the cafeteria, the fireman, the hacker and the television host.”

People of Iceland offered to help refugees in many ways: to cook for them, to take children to school, to donate clothing and to help refugees “adapt to Icelandic society.”

Iceland’s Prime Minister David Gunnlaugsson has a new committee to look into the possibility of taking in more refugees. Hopefully, the committee will connect with Bjorgvinsdottir and her Facebook contacts. The ground work is already done!

We are in the middle of a huge refugee crisis, the worst since World War ll. The US has offered to take 10,000 refugees next year. Germany is preparing for 800,000 asylum applications this year. That is four times the number it received in 2014.

There are two lessons for us: one is the power of the internet. We are all connected. Facebook can do almost immediately what it takes the government months to do.

The second lesson is the power of the people. We have resources that are untapped and untried. In Iceland it only took one concerned person to spread the word and the people responded. In a time when governments underestimate their citizens, we citizens can rely on one another and meet the humanitarian needs.

Source: September 20, 2015