Icelanders Volunteer To Improve Asylum Seeker Living Conditions - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelanders Volunteer To Improve Asylum Seeker Living Conditions

Published November 17, 2016

Photos by
Samfylkingin

Distraught by news of some of the deplorable conditions asylum seekers live in, one Icelander took it upon herself to start a collection drive that has gathered considerable support.

Sema Erla Serdar, a Social Democrat who has been very active in the subject of foreigners in Iceland, was distraught by news reports that, at some residence centres for asylum seekers in Iceland, the people who live there are missing basic household needs. This includes things such as furniture, clothing, kitchen utensils, lamps, books – “literally everything is needed”, as she put it to Stundin.

Not content to wait for authorities to take action, Sema decided to take matters into her own hands.

A Facebook group, “Emergency Collection For Asylum Seekers In Iceland”, already has over 200 members. In this group, Icelanders are organising together to donate the much-needed items for these homes. The group has already amassed a considerable amount of clothing and furniture, but more is still needed.

As it stands now, asylum seekers are forbidden from receiving visits in these centres; they are free to leave the facilities, but no one not approved by the Ministry of the Interior is permitted on the premises. Nonetheless, these volunteers have vowed to get these donations to the people who need them.

If you live in Iceland and want to donate, you are advised to simply join the group and post what you have to offer. The rest of the logistics will be worked out by others in the group. If you have nothing to donate but money, you can send donations to bank account 0525-26-500409, with the kennitala 040986-2869.

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