The backdrop to the year has been refugees fleeing in their millions from war, persecution and death.
European governments have made a major contribution to the destabilisation of parts of the world from where refugees flee, yet they collaborate to keep these desperate people out.
In contrast, millions of British people and beyond have been making ‘not in our name’ gestures. Individually and collectively via our trade unions, political and anti racist groups we have expressed our humanity via donations and collections and some have visited the refugee camps in Europe.
I am spending two weeks volunteering with Care4calais which provides food, other basic supplies and social activities, including language classes, to refugees in the Calais camp known as the ‘Jungle’. My goal is to go beyond delivering charity; to be part of collective solidarity offering strength and hope to the refugees.
I hope some of the reflections and images on this blog may inspire and provide confidence for you to visit the Calais camp (or others) to deliver supplies, teach, raise desperately needed funds or to donate directly. After experiencing Care4calais‘ work first hand, I can assure you that their operations are targetted, sensitive and thoughtfully conceived, in partnership with refugees where possible. Please see below for details of what is needed.
The overcrowded ‘jungle’ is currently home to up to 7000 refugees. For reasons of respect, sensitivity and avoidance of any potential jeopardy to asylum applications, I have deliberately avoided posting images of the residents’ faces on this blog.
HOW YOU CAN HELP – from the Care4calais Admin Team
We are always in need of funds to continue our work : click here to donate
If you :
– have some items you want to donate please see here for drop-off points.
– want to bring items to Calais see here for the items in greatest demand.
– are going to donate items please see our packing guide.