Actions for myself

KNIT2018 for Edinburgh Direct Aid


Could you join fellow knitters across the country in a sponsored knitting drive to help refugees living in camps in Lebanon?

Since 2013 EDA has been sending regular shipments of warm clothes to help 60,000 Syrian refugees live through harsh snowy winters in tented camps in Arsal, Lebanon, in the mountains 5,000ft above sea level – higher than Ben Nevis. Next winter the need will be as great as ever.

Our ever generous donors have included many knitters of beautiful handmade warm woolly hats, gloves, mitts, scarves, sweaters, baby blankets, and soft toys.

All our donations are packed into huge 40′ long shipping containers, then sent by sea to Beirut in Lebanon. They are taken on to our Centre in Arsal where volunteers & local staff make sure they are distributed to those in most need. It costs a lot to ship each container — some £3,500 when transport, clearance and distribution costs are added up. The value of donated goods aboard works out at over £20,000 in local prices, so it’s money well spent. BUT we have to raise that £3,500 for every container sent. And we need funds also to make local purchases of fuel, medicine etc, and support schools, training and workshops in Arsal.

THAT IS WHY we are asking you, the knitters, not only to knit, but also to raise funds by asking friends & family to sponsor your knitting.


• You decide on whether you are going to sign up as an individual or as a group

• You decide on what to make: this is your commitment and your challenge. Set a target which is achievable, but not too easily achievable!

• The period set for you to complete your challenge is from Mon 14 May to Sat 30 June.

• If you are a Facebook/Twitter user, do keep in touch with other knitters and groups, and EDA, by posting photos of your progress.

• For more details, and to sign up and get a sponsor form, call or text 0781 494 9468 or call 0131 552 1545.

NB Sponsors don’t have to be a long list of names – a fiver from your nearest and dearest will be equally appreciated!

Photo by Andrew Robles on Unsplash

Tripod Training – Organising for Power

Are you an organiser or campaigner tackling the root causes of xenophobia and racism and promoting the rights of refugees and other migrants?

Does it sometimes feel like fire-fighting rather than organising and campaigning for systemic change?

Would you like to learn how to have a bigger impact and plan campaigns that win?

Are you involved in a social justice organization with a high turnover of organisers? Want to consider how to make your organising more accessible and sustainable?

If so Tripod would love to hear from you and get your group’s input on how their new programme – Organising for Power – can be most useful for you. “Organising for Power” is a comprehensive programme which aims to strengthen movements against racism and xenophobia and for migrants’ rights in Scotland. Through this programme Tripod want to support you and your groups to work through some of these challenges, to share what works well and to learn together. They would want to support organisations to develop your skills as organisers, to support groups to grow, to increase participation and share responsibilities. Through this programme Tripod hope to be able to support you to strategise and plan campaigns which have an impact, shift power relations and dismantle oppressive systems. This will be done through high quality training, in-person and online coaching in essential campaign organising skills, mentoring with experienced campaigners, peer-to-peer learning and consistent and sustained follow-up. Tripod also envision to create a community of practice among organizers working in this particular area where you will be able to share experiences and skills and potentially collaborate with one another in future endeavors. This programme is free to participate in but with limited number of spaces.

But before Tripod can get any further, they would love to hear ideas on how this programme could be of more relevance to your context. Your feedback would help them shape this programme in a way that it would be able to address your pressing challenges as organisers more effectively. If you are interested to participate please feel free to get in touch with Tripod at or check out Tripod on Facebook.


Positive Action in Housing (PAiH) are asking people to write to the Home Secretary and demand that Britain steps up to its obligations and implements a UK wide relocation plan to tackle the growing refugee crisis. Email Theresa May at  Please copy your emails to

Write to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP and request that she continue to put pressure on the UK government by signalling the Scottish Government’s willingness to take in 50,000 refugees to Scotland as part of a UK wide relocation plan. Please copy your emails to

Refugees land on a beach near Molyvos, on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey. Photo: Paul Jeffrey / World Council of Churches

Refugees land on a beach near Molyvos, on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey. Photo: Paul Jeffrey / World Council of Churches

Write to your local MSP/MP/MEP (see for their contact details) and ask them to speak out. Please copy your emails to

Join the #ChangeTheStory campaign by Christian Aid which seeks to influence the way refugees and asylum seekers are portrayed in the media.

Independent petition ‘Britain must accept its fair share of refugees seeking safety in Europe’.


Can you give money or goods to support refugees, at home or overseas. There may be different charities you would prefer to give depending on where you live or your own faith tradition.

Firefly International is a small Edinburgh-based charity that supports locally‐led projects in conflict and post-conflict regions that create safe, supportive and inclusive spaces for young people to learn, thrive and grow. They focus their work thematically on the Balkans and Middle East: Bosnia, Palestine and Syria, and depend on the financial support of generous individuals.

Individuals and groups can join the Scottish Refugee Council.

Volunteer Doctors, paediatric nurses and midwives urgently needed as part of an international team heading to Lesvos to support the lifesaving efforts of Eric Kempson and his family who are helping people off the death boats. Helpers willing to help in clean ups are also needed. Positive Action in Housing has joined forces with Eric Kempson and his family in Lesvos to directly assist in saving the lives of thousands of refugees crossing the Mediterranean. You can find out more about the Kempsons here.

If you want to be part of an international medical team directly saving the lives of refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean please complete this online form now.