HUFFINGTON POST

Susan Sarandon Answered Your Questions About The Refugee Crisis. Here Are Her Best Replies.

"I'm hoping that some of these images and stories will open some hearts that are thinking only of the political impact and not the human one."
Susan Sarandon has been on the Greek island of Lesbos, offering coverage and insight into the continuing refugee crisis 
Susan Sarandon has been on the Greek island of Lesbos, offering coverage and insight into the continuing refugee crisis there.

Susan Sarandon fielded Facebook questions on Wednesday from the Greek island of Lesbos, where she has been covering the ongoing refugee crisis for The Crossing, a immersive storytelling collaboration between The Huffington Post and the media company RYOT.

Lesbos is one of the main landing points for people making the dangerous journey across the Aegean Sea seeking safety and asylum. About 1 million refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe by sea this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.

This week, Sarandon has offered insights into her experiences on Lesbos and put a spotlight on the efforts and stories of the many aid workers, volunteers and refugees she has met there. 

Over the course of three and a half hours on Wednesday, she expanded on her coverage in Greece and shared what she's learned.

Here's a selection of the best interactions from the Q&A.

Sarandon has partnered with The Huffington Post and RYOT for a series of reports intended to shed light on Europe's&nbsp
Sarandon has partnered with The Huffington Post and RYOT for a series of reports intended to shed light on Europe's refugee crisis.

Several readers wondered what ordinary citizens can do to help the thousands of refugees arriving on Lesbos and other islands across the Mediterranean.

Sarandon advised that there are a multitude of ways for people to contribute, including donating to the aid groups she's mentioned in her posts and helping to inform people in the United States about the realities of the crisis.

Other questions focused on how aid groups and processing centers are coping with the constant influx of thousands of people, as well as what the next steps are for refugees arriving on Greece's shores.

Sarandon shared some of what she has seen, highlighting the dedicated work of those helping to ameliorate the crisis and emphasizing the need for a more robust support system for refugees.

Sarandon also fielded questions about how her time on the island has affected her on a personal level. 

In one exchange with Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, Sarandon talked about the unexpected moment when she received a FaceTime call from her daughter and granddaughter while she was with refugee families. (Sarandon goes into more detail about the emotional exchange in a blog post here.) 

"I'm hoping that these messages and stories will open some hearts that are thinking only of the political impact and not of t
"I'm hoping that these messages and stories will open some hearts that are thinking only of the political impact and not of the human one," Sarandon said. 

While the refugee crisis has been widely acknowledged as a pressing problem, the issues of resettlement and accepting asylum claims are still the subject of fierce debate in both Europe and the United States. 

Sarandon addressed the topic a few times during the Q&A, advocating for countries to take in more refugees and to understand that the rights of displaced people are just as important as our own.

Responding to a question from HuffPost's Middle East correspondent, Sophia Jones, Sarandon also shared what she would do if she were living under the same conditions that have driven so many people to attempt to reach Europe by sea.

 RYOT and The Huffington Post are teaming to up present The Crossing, an immersive reporting series hosted by Susan Sarandon chronicling the refugee crisis as it unfolds in Greece. Read RYOT co-founder David Darg's report from Lesbos here

Want to read more? Join us here for more coverage, including virtual reality and 360 films about the people making the perilous journey from the Middle East toward safety. 

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