So many of our members are asking for suggestions for how they can help the people caught up in the massive refugee crisis in Europe. We have compiled a brief list of reputable charities and organisations who are already working to try to make things better. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and we do not endorse any particular charity. (There is also a long thread on the Amsterdam Mamas facebook forum with more suggestions from members as well as discussions on the topic.)

Global Organisations

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is active all over the world, helping not just Europe’s refugees but people in many other countries.

Unicef is the United Nations Children’s Fund, their work focusses specifically on helping children in need in countries all over the world, including Syria.

Save The Children works all over the world focussing especially on children and families caught up in disaster, violence or war. They always need financial donations and their local office in the Netherlands is always looking for a variety of support.

The Red Cross is a well respected global organisation that is working here in the Netherlands to help refugees who have made it this far, as well as those still in other parts of Europe.

Doctors Without Borders/Medecin Sans Frontieres (MSF) is working on the ground with refugees all over Europe. 

Doctors of the World is one of the few medical organisations working in the Jungle in Calais. They desperately need financial donations.

SOS Méditerranée is a search and rescue team that partners with a medical team from Doctors Without Borders to support boats in distress. They help patrol the waters between Sicily, Lampedusa and Libya.

In the Netherlands

VluchtelingenWerk is working with refugees in the Netherlands and in Europe. They are in need of both financial support and more volunteers. This is the charity Amsterdam Mamas is supporting with the proceeds from Village Card sales until the end of 2015.

EO Metterdaad are a Dutch charity working in several countries and also working to help European refugees.

Stichting LOS is a Dutch Stichting working to promote and protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in the Netherlands and Europe.

We Zijn Hier (We Are Here) are a Dutch movement (based in Amsterdam) that deals particularly with the group of refugees and asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected but have nowhere to go and are caught in a strange legislative limbo, not entitled to help from the government but unable to return to their home countries.

Het Wereldhuis is the center of information and advice, education and culture, for people in the Netherlands without a residence permit.You can donate clothes, shoes or books, toys, arts and craft supplies and children’s books. For their different activities they are also in need for bedding, blankets, musical instruments and USB sticks. But for donations other than clothes please contact them first as they have limited space available. They also need more volunteers to work with them.

Stichting Vluchtelingen is part of the International Rescue Committee and they are working across the world to assist refugees and displaced persons.


There are also a number of grassroots organisations that are working to provide support, assistance, food, medicine etc both in the Netherlands and in Europe. We are not listing any of them here because we have seen that they can often be short lived, responding to immediate issues as they arise. This means that any links we post here could rapidly become outdated and unhelpful.

Jane Costello