I just received the following email from my colleague David Dixon from Voice, a social media company formed to support charities and third sector organisations of which I am a director and of which more, later. I have to say it occurred to me over the past few days as I struggled to get home that I was experiencing just a very tiny taste of what it must feel like to be truly a refugee with no resources available to you.

Well what a situation! A group of volunteers who came together in Madrid - invited by Daryl Upsall and Tony Elischer, who now find ourselves stranded by volcanic ash over Europe - so now we are refugees! in a strange country no way of getting home …. and away from those we love - but in our group the resourceful and imaginative David decided that we need to make something positive out of all our inconvenience and hassle. But of course we are not real refugees; we have contacts, choices and resources. So David suggested that as we are all going to be very much out of pocket, with cars to hire (if available) hotel rooms (if available) extra food (if available) then at least let's turn that into funds for those who are genuinely refugees who really have to endure so much who really are so far from home, so lonely, often so afraid and with so few contact, resources and choices.

We know the Zimbabwe Association. Many of you heard the wonderful Stella last time at the International Fundraising Conference in Hollandand she is one of those wonderful volunteers who exemplifies the best of human efforts.

 So we urge you to go to our special webpage: 

and donate generously to the ZimbabweAssociation, like we did and will further. Our status of 'refugees' will be very temporary. We'll manage to get back to where we belong. But the real refugees have no such luxury and need your help right now.

 We all - Per, David, Lyndall and Jaap, here in Madrid - urge each and everyone who is also stuck right now somewhere in the world, being a temporarily fugitive, to realise this is an excellent occasion to think about the problems of the real refugees, in all parts of the world. This is the time for action and help people who really are in need, many of them for far longer time than us and under far worse circumstances.

Go to and donate.