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Calais Needs: Items needed as of Monday 30th May

This week’s list of items needed in Calais by our amazing volunteers, updated Monday 30th May 2016.

If you wish to donate goods, please email Isabel on calaisdonations@gmail.com at least one week before you plan to set off. This will help Isabel and our other warehouse volunteers to organise the warehouse and plan for the distribution of goods.

Email Isabel to find out more about donation dates. Thank you for your time and support.


We urgently need roll mats/camping mats and big, thick blankets – our warehouse is out of the mats and we need more to distribute as soon as possible. Thank you!

 

Clothing:

We are currently oversupplied with children’s clothes and toys, however are experiencing a shortfall of teenage boys (13-17 years old – see below). If you are able to donate those, that would be wonderful!

 

Men:

  • Trainers especially sizes 41 to 43, and ideally black
  • S, M long-sleeved tops, jumpers and hoodies
  • S, M short-sleeved t-shirts
  • S, M  tracksuit bottoms
  • Waterproof trousers
  • S, M new underwear (not Y-fronts)
  • Gloves

 

Women:

  • XS, S, M leggings
  • XS, S, M tracksuit bottoms
  • S, M, L tunic tops with long sleeves
  • S, M Knickers
  • Boots/shoes up to size 39.  No heels!
  • Smaller cup size bras (up to 36C)

 

Youth (boys):

  • Tracksuit bottoms – for ages 12-17
  • Jeans – for ages 12-17
  • Underwear – for ages 12-17 or men’s size small
  • Hoodies – sizes small and medium
  • Trainers (ideally black) – 40, 41, 42, 43

 

Mobile Distribution (list of categories – click here for exhaustive list):

  • Bedding
  • Kitchen items
  • Mobile phones
  • Cleaning/clothes washing items
  • Lights
  • Padlocks (with both keys and combinations)
  • Most requested items:
  • Metal kettles
  • Plastic/metal cups and mugs
  • Lights and lanterns – click here to view on Leisure Fayre site
  • Unlocked smart phones/power banks
  • Camp beds/single mattresses

 

Hygiene:

  • Toilet paper
  • Men’s razors
  • Deodorant (men’s)
  • Shower gel and shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Baby wipes
  • Nappies (only numbers 4, 5 and 6)
  • Wash bags

 

Food: we are running very low on food supplies. Material food donations are much more sustainable and logistically easier to arrange, so if you have funds available and are planning a delivery to the Auberge/ Help Refugees warehouse, the most needed items (most urgent at top)

  • Fresh fruit and veg (including salad and fresh herbs)
  • 1l UHT milk
  • 1kg sugar
  • Onions and garlic
  • Red lentils
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • 1l oil
  • 1l olive oil
  • 1kg rice
  • Tinned fish (tuna, sardines, mackerel)
  • Biscuit packets
  • Tinned goods (tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans)
  • Tea and coffee
  • 750g salt
  • Dried fruit and nuts
  • Tinned fruit and veg
  • Vegetable stock cubes

Please bring ring pull tops and make sure everything is in date!

 

Warehouse and Office Needs:

  • Large rubble sacks and 80L
  • 130L, 110L, 80L strong bags
  • Orange tape
  • Brown parcel tape
  • Industrial saran wrap/cling film – for wrapping boxes
  • Permanent markers
  • Thick rubber bands
  • A4 lever arch folders
  • Polythene pockets (for lever arch files)
  • A4 printer paper

Miscellaneous:

  • Thick blankets
  • Rolling suitcases
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Bike locks and repair kits
  • Fire wood
  • 3 sims for phones (£1 each, have to be purchased in the UK)
  • Lycra sims

Please only bring items from this list. We cannot currently accept any other items.

Our Calais warehouse is now supporting both the Calais and Dunkerque camps; receiving, sorting and delivering all aid required in the two camps every day. More than ever we need large volumes of very specific items. Help us to service the needs of the people in the camps to the best of our ability by studying the information on this page carefully before you plan your trip. We rely on a large volunteer workforce to supply the camps with the items they desperately need and we are currently very low on volunteers. We simply do not have the people power to sort through the items we don’t require, which are taking up an inordinate amount of space in our busy warehouse. 

HOW TO ORGANISE GOODS

Try to concentrate on one or two items as a large amount of one item is much quicker and easier to distribute than a mixed load of many items.

It is very important that goods are clean, pre-sorted and clearly labelled e.g. a box of walking boots size 44, a bag of men’s jeans size 32, or pre-packaged food parcels.

If you want to be a real star then the best box sizes are 60 x 40 x 32.5 or 90 x 60 x 48

HOW TO DONATE

To deliver aid to the warehouse and/or to arrange distribution in the camp with the support of experienced volunteers, please complete this form

If you have any questions, please email calaisdonations@gmail.com


CLICK AND DONATE FOR DELIVERY STRAIGHT TO CALAIS

The wonderful people at Leisure Fayre have made it super easy to get these urgently needed items directly to Calais. Calais urgently needs sleeping bags and blankets.

Go to LesiureFayre, click on the Help Refugees logo to get to our specially selected list of most needed items and make your selection. To get 20% discount and free delivery to Calais, use the login and password provided on the checkout page.

Many thanks to Leisure Fayre for being so kind!

Read more

Help us help the Rescue Refugees team in Lesvos

Last year 4000 people drowned at sea trying to make the journey across the Aegean sea from Turkey to the island of Lesvos. Despite the EU Turkey-Greece deal, boats continue to cross and lives continue to be at grave risk every day. Please donate now and help us to prevent these unnecessary tragedies – https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/helprefugees

Help Refugees are incredibly proud to support the Refugee Rescue sea rescue team and help them to keep their boats patrolling the seas and rescuing anyone in trouble – we couldn’t do this without your support and donations.

This past week, two refugee boats arrived on the south coast of Lesvos. The first boat, carrying 45 people, made it to shore. The second boat, carrying 57 people, 70% of which were women and children, needed the support of the Rescue Refugees team and their boat Mo Charah to make it safely to shore.

However, Rescue Refugees boats need vital maintenance work and there are now only three rescue boats operating in Mytilini, the port town of Lesvos, and Minden, another entry point. Please click here to donate and give what you can to help support the vital work this team are doing in Lesvos. Thank you all! Together we can help.

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We would not be able to do our work without your support and kindness. Many of the refugees we help are fleeing the conflict zones of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Others are trying to escape political oppression in countries like Eritrea. All are human beings like us. As well as providing immediate physical assistance, we want to help refugees maintain their dignity.

Please click through if you would like to find out more about our work in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos, Samos, Idomeni and other locations. If you would like to know how you can help refugees, please check out our Get Involved section where you can find out how to fundraise for us and how to make a donation. Thank you!

Read more

Updates on the Idomeni camp clearance


We would not be able to do our work without your support and kindness. Many of the refugees we help are fleeing the conflict zones of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Others are trying to escape political oppression in countries like Eritrea. All are human beings like us. As well as providing immediate physical assistance, we want to help refugees maintain their dignity.

Please click through if you would like to find out more about our work in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos, Samos, Idomeni and other locations. If you would like to know how you can help refugees, please check out our Get Involved section where you can find out how to fundraise for us and how to make a donation. Thank you!

Read more

Urgent Calais appeal – SLEEPING BAGS, TENTS, BLANKETS and ROLL MATS needed

Yesterday in the Calais refugee camp fires broke out and approximately 250 shelters burnt down. Our teams estimate approximately 500 people have now been made homeless. Around 40 people are injured and being treated in hospital – Help Refugees will ensure they have a safe and warm place to sleep once they are released from hospital.

Our incredible team on the ground have been working alongside the other NGOs around the clock to hire diggers, clear the debris, provide tents and blankets to the many people who lost their homes, and to care for the injured.

However, we need YOU now more than ever.

With around 400 people without shelter NOW is the time to dig into your storage, ask your friends to do a collection and bring any SLEEPING BAGS, TENTS, BLANKETS and ROLL MATS to Calais – please drive over whatever you can. We must ensure the children, women and men made homeless have a dry place to sleep. Email calaisdonations@gmail.com for details of how to drop off donations.

Don’t have any of the goods yourself but want to help?

YOU CAN. Buy a sleeping bag, tent, blanket or roll mat from www.helprefugees.leisurefayre.com and it will be delivered free to Calais.

We REALLY NEED at least 400 sleeping bags, tents, roll mats, and blankets. Please spread the word – together we can ensure no one goes without.

 

Photo credit: Libby Freeman


We would not be able to do our work without your support and kindness. Many of the refugees we help are fleeing the conflict zones of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Others are trying to escape political oppression in countries like Eritrea. All are human beings like us. As well as providing immediate physical assistance, we want to help refugees maintain their dignity.

Please click through if you would like to find out more about our work in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos, Samos, Idomeni and other locations. If you would like to know how you can help refugees, please check out our Get Involved section where you can find out how to fundraise for us and how to make a donation. Thank you!

Read more

Calais Needs: Items needed as of Monday 23rd May

This week’s list of items needed in Calais by our amazing volunteers, updated Monday 23rd May 2016.

If you wish to donate goods, please email Isabel on calaisdonations@gmail.com at least one week before you plan to set off. This will help Isabel and our other warehouse volunteers to organise the warehouse and plan for the distribution of goods.

Email Isabel to find out more about donation dates. Thank you for your time and support.


We urgently need roll mats/camping mats and big, thick blankets – our warehouse is out of the mats and we need more to distribute as soon as possible. Thank you!

 

Clothing:

We are currently oversupplied with children’s clothes and toys, however are experiencing a shortfall of teenage boys (13-17 years old – see below). If you are able to donate those, that would be wonderful!

 

Men:

  • Trainers especially sizes 41 to 43, and ideally black
  • S, M long-sleeved tops, jumpers and hoodies
  • S, M short-sleeved t-shirts
  • S, M  tracksuit bottoms
  • Waterproof trousers
  • S, M new underwear (not Y-fronts)
  • Gloves

 

Women:

  • XS, S, M leggings
  • XS, S, M tracksuit bottoms
  • S, M, L tunic tops with long sleeves
  • S, M Knickers
  • Boots/shoes up to size 39.  No heels!
  • Smaller cup size bras (up to 36C)

 

Youth (boys):

  • Tracksuit bottoms – for ages 12-17
  • Jeans – for ages 12-17
  • Underwear – for ages 12-17 or men’s size small
  • Hoodies – sizes small and medium
  • Trainers (ideally black) – 40, 41, 42, 43

 

Mobile Distribution (list of categories – click here for exhaustive list):

  • Bedding
  • Kitchen items
  • Mobile phones
  • Cleaning/clothes washing items
  • Lights
  • Padlocks (with both keys and combinations)
  • Most requested items:
  • Metal kettles
  • Plastic/metal cups and mugs
  • Lights and lanterns – click here to view on Leisure Fayre site
  • Unlocked smart phones/power banks
  • Camp beds/single mattresses

 

Hygiene:

  • Toilet paper
  • Men’s razors
  • Deodorant (men’s)
  • Shower gel and shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Baby wipes
  • Nappies (only numbers 4, 5 and 6)
  • Wash bags

 

Food: we are running very low on food supplies. Material food donations are much more sustainable and logistically easier to arrange, so if you have funds available and are planning a delivery to the Auberge/ Help Refugees warehouse, the most needed items (most urgent at top)

  • Fresh fruit and veg (including salad and fresh herbs)
  • 1l UHT milk
  • 1kg sugar
  • Onions and garlic
  • Red lentils
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • 1l oil
  • 1l olive oil
  • 1kg rice
  • Tinned fish (tuna, sardines, mackerel)
  • Biscuit packets
  • Tinned goods (tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans)
  • Tea and coffee
  • 750g salt
  • Dried fruit and nuts
  • Tinned fruit and veg
  • Vegetable stock cubes

Please bring ring pull tops and make sure everything is in date!

 

Warehouse and Office Needs:

  • Large rubble sacks and 80L
  • 130L, 110L, 80L strong bags
  • Orange tape
  • Brown parcel tape
  • Industrial saran wrap/cling film – for wrapping boxes
  • Permanent markers
  • Thick rubber bands
  • A4 lever arch folders
  • Polythene pockets (for lever arch files)
  • A4 printer paper

Miscellaneous:

  • Thick blankets
  • Rolling suitcases
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Bike locks and repair kits
  • Fire wood
  • 3 sims for phones (£1 each, have to be purchased in the UK)
  • Lycra sims

Please only bring items from this list. We cannot currently accept any other items.

Our Calais warehouse is now supporting both the Calais and Dunkerque camps; receiving, sorting and delivering all aid required in the two camps every day. More than ever we need large volumes of very specific items. Help us to service the needs of the people in the camps to the best of our ability by studying the information on this page carefully before you plan your trip. We rely on a large volunteer workforce to supply the camps with the items they desperately need and we are currently very low on volunteers. We simply do not have the people power to sort through the items we don’t require, which are taking up an inordinate amount of space in our busy warehouse. 

HOW TO ORGANISE GOODS

Try to concentrate on one or two items as a large amount of one item is much quicker and easier to distribute than a mixed load of many items.

It is very important that goods are clean, pre-sorted and clearly labelled e.g. a box of walking boots size 44, a bag of men’s jeans size 32, or pre-packaged food parcels.

If you want to be a real star then the best box sizes are 60 x 40 x 32.5 or 90 x 60 x 48

HOW TO DONATE

To deliver aid to the warehouse and/or to arrange distribution in the camp with the support of experienced volunteers, please complete this form

If you have any questions, please email calaisdonations@gmail.com


CLICK AND DONATE FOR DELIVERY STRAIGHT TO CALAIS

The wonderful people at Leisure Fayre have made it super easy to get these urgently needed items directly to Calais. Calais urgently needs sleeping bags and blankets.

Go to LesiureFayre, click on the Help Refugees logo to get to our specially selected list of most needed items and make your selection. To get 20% discount and free delivery to Calais, use the login and password provided on the checkout page.

Many thanks to Leisure Fayre for being so kind!

Read more

Kindertransport survivors meet Calais’ unaccompanied minors

We were honoured to accompany Kindertransport survivors Lord Alf Dubs and Rabbi Harry Jacobi on their visit to Calais to meet some of the unaccompanied minors. Lord Dubs and Rabbi Jacobi, both brought to the UK during World War II, met several boys who also fled from persecution and war alone.

Many of the boys shared stories. Here are just two (names have been changed to protect identities):

Misaq’s story: “some people say [my father] is dead, some people say he is captured, I don’t know”

Misaq is just ten and from Afghanistan. He was only one when his father disappeared, returning five years later badly beaten. He saw his father being beaten and both were threatened regularly. His father disappeared again two years ago. His mother sent him away because they feared for his life. His mother’s brother paid smugglers. They moved at night on foot with no food and water but occasionally they were put in trucks. On one occasion there were “hundreds” of people crammed into a truck unable to move for hours. He spent three days in Bulgaria climbing mountains with no food or water and saw things that scared him, including dead bodies. Misaq says that now when something happens that reminds him of the journey he becomes ill and scared. The journey took two months.

Ashraf’s story: “I am scared of bombs so I run”.

Ashraf is 12 and also from Afghanistan. He left his home after his father was killed by a bomb. He was smuggled to France with a large group and once he got to Iran he was put in a car boot with other people. He felt claustrophobic and scared. Once they got to the border they were attacked and seven people were shot dead. They were forced to walk huge distances. He says it took them eight attempts to cross into Bulgaria. In Bulgaria the police were fighting them and he was scared about being beaten and was shot at by the police. He said it was very difficult to get food and water. The smugglers left him in Italy and made the rest of the journey with other people in the group. It took them three months.

A particularly touching moment was when Harry told the boys that he was a refugee and as they began to understand you could see them begin to hope that their journey may too have a happy ending.


We would not be able to do our work without your support and kindness. Many of the refugees we help are fleeing the conflict zones of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Others are trying to escape political oppression in countries like Eritrea. All are human beings like us. As well as providing immediate physical assistance, we want to help refugees maintain their dignity.

Please click through if you would like to find out more about our work in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos, Samos, Idomeni and other locations. If you would like to know how you can help refugees, please check out our Get Involved section where you can find out how to fundraise for us and how to make a donation. Thank you!

Read more

Thank you – huge delivery arrives for Calais Mobile Distribution team!

Help Refugees and L’Auberge Des Migrants’ Calais Mobile Distribution team methodically visits every single shelter and tent in camp, ensuring that residents have as many of the basic household necessities as we can muster from the warehouse stocks. The most commonly requested items are things like washing up liquid, mattresses, bedding, kettles and solar lights.

A few weeks ago Sam, who heads up the Mobile Distribution team, asked YOU to help by ordering some of these items using our Leisure Fayre list, in particular to buy lots of lovely lamps to allow people to see after dark – a simple but powerful gift.

We asked, and you delivered.

This week we received a large order from Leisure Fayre so Sam, our team and most importantly the camp residents are very happy indeed. Thank you to everyone who bought anything from the list and also to the Leisure Fayre team who work so hard to fulfil every order, provide an automatic 20% discount and FREE delivery to our Calais warehouse. The lovely people at Blandford Cares also spent £500 on the washing and cleaning products. Supplying the simple day to day items that most of us take for granted is an easy way of improving the quality of life of those living in camp.

With up to 100 new arrivals every day we still really need your support. Please keep buying items from www.helprefugees.leisurefayre.com


We would not be able to do our work without your support and kindness. Many of the refugees we help are fleeing the conflict zones of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Others are trying to escape political oppression in countries like Eritrea. All are human beings like us. As well as providing immediate physical assistance, we want to help refugees maintain their dignity.

Please click through if you would like to find out more about our work in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos, Samos, Idomeni and other locations. If you would like to know how you can help refugees, please check out our Get Involved section where you can find out how to fundraise for us and how to make a donation. Thank you!

Read more

Update from Refugee Youth Service (formerly Baloo’s) – successful Dunkirk launch

One of the organisations we support in the Calais refugee camp is The Refugee Youth Service (formerly Baloo’s). The Youth Service provides a safe place for boys aged 12 – 18 to relax, play and learn while they live in the camp. The team sent this update about their plans in the aftermath of the demolition including branching out to Dunkirk.

This week saw the project launch of Refugee Youth Service Dunkirk, which we are thrilled to say was a great success. This is a project that we have been attempting to begin for past two months, but due to the volatile nature of the environment we work in there have been a number of delaying factors. However, after many discussions with the existing organisations on the ground, and with the help of their volunteers we finally believed the time to be right to begin our work. On Tuesday evening a pop up youth space was ran for 2 hours, featuring some of the many popular activities that are run in Baloo’s youth centre Calais, during which 10-15 young people attended, all of whom appeared to enjoy themselves. The feedback from existing volunteers who aided the session was particularly interesting, with one saying ‘I know that this project will have a great impact on the teenagers in the camp, which definitely showed through yesterday. I haven’t seen R that happy in a months’.

Of course we are in the very early stages of this project, and many challenges lie ahead, in particular the creation an appropriate, permanent and secure space for us to operate from, and tailoring a new program to the needs of the young people in Dunkirk. Our aim as an organisation is to develop the sophisticated support systems and processes that are needed to aid social development, help maintain good mental health, and protect young people from the dangers that they face daily.

The temporary space used, kindly given to us by Utopia 56, can be seen in the picture above. The space was well suited to the session, and will be used in future sessions until we are able to build the permanent structure previously mentioned.


We would not be able to do our work without your support and kindness. Many of the refugees we help are fleeing the conflict zones of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Others are trying to escape political oppression in countries like Eritrea. All are human beings like us. As well as providing immediate physical assistance, we want to help refugees maintain their dignity.

Please click through if you would like to find out more about our work in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos, Samos, Idomeni and other locations. If you would like to know how you can help refugees, please check out our Get Involved section where you can find out how to fundraise for us and how to make a donation. Thank you!

Read more

SB Overseas gives education and hope in Beirut

Philli and Nico – key members of the Help Refugees team – recently visited Lebanon and spent some time working with SB Overseas in their women and children’s centre for refugees near Shatila, Beirut. Philli wrote this update from their visit.

During our time with the amazing SB Overseas in Lebanon last week, learning about what they do and getting to know the people they work with, we had the opportunity to volunteer within their bright, airy, Women and Children’s centre. The centre is located very close to Shatila, the biggest refugee camp in Beirut, home to 75,000 people. This proximity is absolutely vital because it means children can walk there on their own, no one has to pay for transport and there is little danger of coming across any army officers, requesting to see documents on the way. There is a pleasant buzz of happy energetic voices throughout the centre. For the children it is catch-up school. The Syrian curriculum is different from the Lebanese one so even kids lucky enough not to have missed any school have things to catch-up on before having a chance to enter into the Lebanese public school system. In reality, due to the extent and duration of the civil war in Syria and the lack of schools to cater for the sheer number of displaced children, many have missed a few years of education.

That education is considered a basic human right and the reasons for this is absolutely evident from spending 5 minutes sitting in a classroom in this school in Beirut. They are bright, enthusiastic, engaged and so excited to be there, learning and laughing. Every so often you remember the things that these children have seen and experienced, imagine what they might have lost and the conditions in which they are now living, as refugees. This is not the same phenomenon we see elsewhere, namely in Europe, because most have been there for a number of years already. They are not in transit. This is life for the foreseeable future.
60% of the children succeed in passing their exams and entering into the Lebanese system after one 6 month stint at the school. This represents the beginning of what one can only hope will be their integration into Lebanese society. Their places are then given up to the next children on the long waiting list and those who have not succeeded enter into another programme (at the same centre). No one is forgotten. Everyone is nurtured.
As well as classes throughout the week there are activities available at the weekend, so the centre provides a haven seven days a week for whoever would like to attend. On Sunday we brought all the essentials for pasta necklace making including farm animal pasta, lots of glitter, sticky butterflies and rainbow paints. It was incredible to be there that day, sharing the moment of creativity, concentration, collaboration and pride in their work, on the big shady terrace of the centre.
The other key area the centre works within is providing vocational training courses and psychological support for female refugees. There are courses in embroidery, dress-making, literacy, jewellery-making and hair dressing. These programmes aim to provide the women who attend them with a way to make a living for themselves. Many have lost their husbands and other family members, and are not only suffering from extreme levels of psychological trauma but also very much need to find a way to make money to pay their rent and feed their children. We ran a card-making workshop with a group of 30 women who produced the most beautiful pieces. We asked our host, Louma, the founder of SB Overseas, to translate the Arabic script on each card and every one of the messages contained the word hope. The centre offers exactly this to every person who walks through the door. It provides a community, a place to cry, a place to learn, a place of friendship, a place to feel empowered and place to find much-needed hope.
All of the teachers are refugees themselves so the school also provides job opportunities for a number of skilled, displaced people who would not have been able to attain this type of position in the Lebanese school system. One thing they do need support with is English teachers. There is a curriculum to follow, the classes are small and there will always be an Arabic speaker in the room (useful for things like loo requests and occasional overexcitement!) Learning through play and self-expression through arts are also key at the centre.
To find out more about the work SB Overseas does, please visit their campaign page at http://sboverseas.org/campaigns/givehope/

We would not be able to do our work without your support and kindness. Many of the refugees we help are fleeing the conflict zones of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Others are trying to escape political oppression in countries like Eritrea. All are human beings like us. As well as providing immediate physical assistance, we want to help refugees maintain their dignity.

Please click through if you would like to find out more about our work in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos, Samos, Idomeni and other locations. If you would like to know how you can help refugees, please check out our Get Involved section where you can find out how to fundraise for us and how to make a donation. Thank you!

Read more

Update from Refugee Youth Service (formerly Baloo’s) – a search for normality amid the unknown

One of the organisations we support in the Calais refugee camp is The Refugee Youth Service (formerly Baloo’s). The Youth Service provides a safe place for boys aged 12 – 18 to relax, play and learn while they live in the camp. The team sent this update about their plans in the aftermath of the demolition including branching out to Dunkirk.

This week’s activities and outings revolved around the weather, as the 20+ degree heat made it ideal for trips to the beach. On Sunday 8th, we took five boys from the Jungle to the seaside where we spent a day playing volleyball in the sea, making sandcastles and one boy even designing a replica of his home in Afghanistan (as pictured below). The boys rarely leave the Jungle for any other reason than to ‘try’, and so the chance to get out of the camp and relax was extremely refreshing for them. The quiet French beach came to life with the sound of laughing boys having water fights in the sea!

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On Friday 6th, we also took three boys to the beach to play beach football (as seen below). These boys no longer live in the Jungle as they have decided to settle in France and so are now living in an accommodation centre. This is an extremely difficult time for them as they miss their families as well as the community and their friends that speak their own language back in the Jungle. It is an incredibly courageous decision that they have made and we as a Youth Service support them by visiting them at least once a week to help them through this challenging transition.

2

On Friday 6th we also begun the first of many day visits to St Omer which is run by France Terre d’Asile. The aim of these day visits is to let the boys see the centre for themselves without the obligation of staying the night. As it is an extremely difficult decision for a child to leave the Jungle for an unknown centre, we hope that these day visits act as a stepping-stone between the boys and FTDA.

We have also returned to visiting Calais General Hospital as one more boy has severely injured himself attempting to cross to England. We plan to go at least twice a week to provide both emotional support as well as a break from the monotony of being bedridden. This week we took one of his friends and some Afghan food from the Jungle to cheer him up.

We have also increased our outreach work inside of the Jungle to accommodate the large number of unaccompanied minors arriving. Alone and exceptionally vulnerable, these children often have no means of contacting home to let their families know that they are safe. We have been working alongside the Facebook group ‘Phone credit for refugees and displaced people’ and this week alone have managed to provide over 30 boys with credit. This would have not been possible without the generosity of strangers who have given over £500 to these children to ensure that they can phone for help when in danger and phone home when lonely.

Finally in relation to the Youth Centre, it has been another successful week with school occurring every day for one hour and a mixture of exciting activities and sports being played throughout the week. The beautiful weather has meant that cricket has been played constantly, and yet the staff keep getting bowled out for golden ducks!


We would not be able to do our work without your support and kindness. Many of the refugees we help are fleeing the conflict zones of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Others are trying to escape political oppression in countries like Eritrea. All are human beings like us. As well as providing immediate physical assistance, we want to help refugees maintain their dignity.

Please click through if you would like to find out more about our work in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos, Samos, Idomeni and other locations. If you would like to know how you can help refugees, please check out our Get Involved section where you can find out how to fundraise for us and how to make a donation. Thank you!

Read more