Since the closure of the ‘Calais Jungle’ three years ago, many hundreds of refugees in Northern France are left sleeping rough in the worst possible conditions.
Due to a drive to prevent another permanent camp forming, they are not allowed to even have tents for shelter from the elements. The authorities regularly confiscate their sleeping bags and possessions, clear tents and move refugees on every few days, but people cannot leave the area due to the Covid-19 lockdown. They are cold, tired and hungry.
These communities cannot always regularly wash their hands, cannot social distance and cannot stay inside.
Right now however, refugees in Calais are more afraid of starving than they are of Covid-19. This is because NGOs have pulled out and state food provision has reduced by 50%.
On Monday (the 18th of May) I’ll be heading to Calais, initially for two weeks, to offer some support to this amazing volunteer-run charity - Care4Calais - who work to distribute aid and offer social and practical support for refugees in Northern France. Right now there is a heightened need for the charity to receive donations and support due to the effects of Covid-19 which causes restrictions on how aid can be delivered and the numbers of workers/volunteers who can offer support. As well as the increasingly precarious circumstances that refugees are experiencing.
If you felt able to offer any donation, big or small, it would mean a great deal to me - but much more importantly, to those experiencing yet another layer of disadvantage and for whom their health and well-being is at ever greater risk. As well as to the workers and volunteers selflessly and tirelessly working to protect refugees in France.