10,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees after author’s call

By David Hodari

31 Aug 2015

Ten thousand Icelanders have offered to welcome Syrian refugees into their homes, as part of a Facebook campaign launched by a prominent author after the government said it would take in only a handful.

After the Icelandic government announced last month that it would only accept 50 humanitarian refugees from Syria, Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir encouraged fellow citizens to speak out in favor of those in need of asylum. In the space of 24 hours, 10,000 Icelanders – the country’s population is 300,000 – took to Facebook to offer up their homes and urge their government to do more.

“I’m a single mother with a 6-year-old son… We can take a child in need. I’m a teacher and would teach the child to speak, read and write Icelandic and adjust to Icelandic society. We have clothes, a bed, toys and everything a child needs. I would of course pay for the airplane ticket,” wrote Hekla Stefansdottir in a post.

“I think people have had enough of seeing news stories from the Mediterranean and refugee camps of dying people and they want something done now”, Bjorgvinsdottir told Icelandic public television RUV.

The Icelandic government is now looking at increasing its refugee quota.

Welfare Minister Eyglo Hardardottir told RUV that authorities were examining offers made on Facebook, and would consider upping the number of refugees accepted under a humanitarian quota.

“I have made it clear that I don’t want to name a maximum figure”, she said. “But we (will) explore every avenue available in welcoming more refugees”.

Source: The Telegraph.

Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/iceland/11835537/10000-Icelanders-offer-to-house-Syrian-refugees-after-authors-call.html.

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