A tragic regular fixture in the news has become reports on the Syrian refugee crisis. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the staggering statistics, and these war torn regions can often feel distant and leave U.S. citizens disconnected. People may want to help but are not sure how they can make a difference, especially when not in a position to provide financial donations. At the end of the day, many people find themselves saying “I feel bad, but how can I help?”
In conjunction with the opening of the photography exhibition “Where the Children Sleep” by Swedish photographer Magnus Wennman, the American Swedish Historical Museum is hosting a "How Can I Help?” Fair on Saturday October 21st from 11 am to 3 pm. The fair will be a day of education and cooperation to promote broader awareness of the immediate needs of refugees in our area. Refugee aid groups from the greater Philadelphia region will be on site to meet with members of the public and let them know what their organization does and how people can get involved. Confirmed participating organizations include American Red Cross, HIAS Pennsylvania, Emergencybnb, Books Not Bombs, Mural Arts Philadelphia, African Family Health Organization AFAHO, William Way LGBT Community Center, The Office of Adult Education PHL Adult Education, and Bethanna.
The “How Can I Help?” Fair will also feature opening remarks from a senior official from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, film screenings, art works created by Philadelphia area refugee and immigrant students, advocacy phone call & letter writing centers, inspiration station, and more.
The “How Can I Help?” Fair will take place at the American Swedish Historical Museum in South Philadelphia, and the education fair and admission to the Museum is free throughout the day.
You can easily get here by taking the Broad Street Line to AT&T Station, and then walk for about 5 minutes along Pattison Avenue to the Museum. For those who prefer going by car, FDR Park offers free parking in front of the Museum.
About "Where the Children Sleep":
Captivating photographs of sleeping refugee children by acclaimed Swedish photographer, Magnus Wennman, will debut at the American Swedish Historical Museum on October 21st, 2017.
The exhibition, "Where the Children Sleep", marks 6 years of the war in Syria which has claimed more than 500,000 lives, left over 14 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, and forced almost five million refugees to flee the country. This series of 22 photos document the tragic consequences of the refugee crisis by capturing what the simple act of bedtime brings for the youngest and most vulnerable refugees. Each photograph comes with a story of how these children and their families struggled through the Middle East and Europe while making the harrowing journey out of Syria.
UNHCR, in collaboration with Fotografiska (The Swedish Museum of Photography in Stockholm), has brought "Where the Children Sleep" to audiences in the United States for the first time in order to raise awareness about the plight of Syrian refugees. Here is a link to learn more about the exhibition: