If this doesn’t restore your faith in humanity, nothing will.
Thousands of exhausted refugees – most of them from Syria, but also other conflict zones – were given the welcome they deserve on arrival in Germany over the weekend, with hundreds of locals turning out to greet them, and hand out supplies like food, water and children’s toys.
Large crowds clapped, cheered and waved homemade ‘welcome’ signs as the weary migrants disembarked from packed trains in Munich, Frankfurt and other German cities, as well as chanting sweet rhyming ditties like, “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here.”
The UNHCR posted a seriously heart-warming video of the warm welcome to Facebook, along with a poignant line from one of the many volunteers who showed up to support the record influx of refugees:
0.26 seconds, when the little girl blows a kiss to the man who gives her a bottle of water…
*heart breaks into a million pieces*
The refugees, most of whom had travelled from Hungary via Austria, were shepherded from the trains to buses waiting to take them to temporary shelters set up in barracks, public buildings and hotels around the country.
Germany has taken in Europe‘s largest number of refugees amid the biggest displacement crisis since World War II; the total number is expected to tip 800,000 this year, which is four times last year’s total, at a cost of about $AU16 billion to the state.
The generosity of its people, and government, throws an ugly spotlight on the Australia’s own handling of asylum seekers; despite Abbott bowing to public pressure and agreeing to accept more Syrian refugees, to say his/the government’s response is lacking is a *maj* understatement.
Just this afternoon, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten publically called on PM Tone to take in 10,000 more refugees, and donate $AU100 million to the global humanitarian relief effort, including assisting people in refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.
Meanwhile, a turnout of hundreds is expected at the #LightTheDark vigils in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide tonight, to honour the life of 3-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi, who tragically drowned en route to Canada with his family.
If you’re keen on heading down to one of the events, here are the details:
— GetUp! (@GetUp) September 6, 2015
We’ll see you there.
Images via UNHCR.