Expat solidarity during the COVID-19 crisis

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Published 2020-04-29 09:24

Lockdowns and the closure of borders has caused a lot of turmoil in the lives of many. Being stuck abroad without knowing when one will be able to fly home, being far from loved ones… A number of charitable initiatives have been launched during these times of needs...

 French people support

Initiated by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Fédération des accueils des Français expatriés, the operation “SOS un toit” (SOS a roof) offers an emergency service puting in touch French people stuck abroad and French expats who can welcome them. 

A very modern patriotic initiative for 100 000 French citizens in difficult situations looking for a place to stay temporarily, available in 197 countries. 

Local initiatives

With a lot of good will, numerous cities in the world showed that one can help his neighbour without leaving his home. For a couple of months now, all big cities got into action to offer support and solutions to their residents in difficulty. A simple online research on the official website of your town or on social media will lead you to solidarity platforms such as food banks.

In Naples, Italy, for instance, we can see a lot of solidarity food baskets lowered from balconies. According to the FEAD (Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived), more than 500 000 people could soon be in need of food aid in Naples alone.

In New Zealand, a Facebook group “Entraide & Solidarité Auckland” offers its members a social platform  for the expat francophone community. People who suffer from loneliness, business owners, families… The group counts about 500 members and brings support and advice to those in need. 

Bruxelles is also pretty active with its website “Brussel helps” available in different languages. It allows people living in the city to offer their help or find assistance in case of emergencies. 

Every initiative can make a difference. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, shared a heartwarming story on Twitter about a 94 years old expat resident in the United Arab Emirates who received help by a local association. “In the UAE, we are one family and no one is a foreigner.” he added. 

International online support

“We are never lost if we can find each other” is the new Facebook headline for the global development to its feature “Community Help”, a tab option to find help in the United States, Canada, France, UK and Australia. 

This solidarity feature allows you to offer or receive help, or even call for donations. Everything is filtered according to your needs: transportation, work, food, moral support... 

Finally, if expatriation projects have been for most of us delayed, members of Expat.com can continue to discuss on our forum. Information on flights, visa issues, tips for homeschooling, updates on situations by countries, or simply to have a chat and get some news from each other… Expat.com is still a strong and benevolent community.