The Prime Minister of Iceland offered to take in 50 Syrian refugees; 10,000 of his countrymen responded to this announcement by offering their homes to house Syrians fleeing horrific violence and danger.
The Prime Minister dismissed their offers as "unrealistic."
In a Facebook group called "Dear [Minister of Social Affairs] Eygló Harðar – Syria is calling" is filled with messages from Icelanders explaining the situation to their government in small words:
"I'm happy to look after children, take them to kindergarten, school and wherever they need. I can cook for people and show them friendship and warmth. I can pay the airfare for one small family. I can contribute with my expertise and assist pregnant women with pre-natal care."
"I have an extra room in a spacious apartment which I am more than happy to share along with my time and overall support."
"I would like to help: I have clothing, kitchenware, bed and a room in Hvanneyri [West Iceland], which I am happy to share with Syrians. I would like to work as a volunteer to help welcome people and assist them with adapting to Icelandic society."
One parent told an Agence France-Presse reporter: "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."
Icelanders Want to Welcome Refugees, PM Responds
[Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir/Iceland Review]
(Image: Grassodenhäuser, Stefan Schafft, PD)