Every time I open my Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, it feels like things are just getting worse in the world. As easy as it is to inform yourself about the social injustices and tragedies that occur, it’s just as easy to close your eyes and turn away from issues that affect others.
Admittedly, seeing all these tragedies and injustices taking place can become emotionally draining. They trigger so many questions about how an individual’s micro role can have a macro effect on people who are living through brutal human rights violations. I never feel as though I’ve done enough by simply making a social media post, and so, I dug a little deeper to understand how I can use my privilege and ensure that I make a lasting impact.
Throughout the past few months, I’ve learned about some effective ways to help people that are going through tumultuous times such as in Sudan, the crisis in Yemen, and the human rights violations at the U.S border, and I’m here to share them with you.
Just a quick reminder before you continue reading: As important as it is to help those who are suffering and be socially aware of the injustices that take place in the world, it is also important to take care of yourself, especially mentally. Learning about how viciously the world works can be draining, and sometimes deleting social media apps and staying away from the news for a day can help you recharge and recuperate so that you may return ready to fight injustices however you need to. It’s always okay to take a step back!
1. Social Media Is Your Friend
For all three issues, Sudan, Yemen, and the U.S. border, social media can help bring awareness. A post on your social media account won’t solve the problem, but being vocal about the issue will make others aware of what is going on, essentially creating a conversation about the issues.
For Sudan, you can change your profile pictures to blue, which is used to bring awareness for the situation. The color blue is in honor of Mohamad Hashim Mattar, who was killed by Sudanese military whilst peacefully protesting. The same method can be used for Yemen, instead of changing your profile picture to blue, it can be changed to the popular image where the profile picture is half blue for Sudan, and half red to raise awareness about the starvation taking place in Yemen.
In terms of all three issues, share posts and articles to expose what is taking place. For the U.S. border crisis, share pictures of the conditions migrants have to stay in. The more the reality and inhumanity in those images and articles truly hits us and those we share our digital space with, the better.
2. Donate, Donate, Donate
Another form of action is making a donation. Yes, there is a lot of debate surrounding the effectiveness of ensuring those donations reach those who need it the most. Yes, money won’t magically fix political problems, but it may help in ensuring that some basic needs are met. Whether it’s a dollar or more, donations can still have a positive effect.
For Sudan, donations can be made to UNICEF, an organization working to ensure that children are given the critical attention needed during this civil uproar.
For Yemen, I’ve found the International Rescue Committee to be a reliable source with a history of help they’ve sent to Yemen.
For the U.S. border crisis consisting of camps and harsh living conditions, there are many organizations taking donations in order to help. An organization such as ICF works to provide legal, economic, and psychological support to migrants seeking asylum at the border.
3. Get Congress on the Phone
And finally, if you live in the United States, calling your elected officials is a very important action. It may seem cliche, but these officials were put in office by YOUR votes. They are required to listen to you as you express your deep concerns about how the government of the United States is handling a situation. It takes five minutes to find who your representatives are, and to call them. Lucky for you, we did half the work for you. Here is a current list!