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BREAD AND PASTRY WORKSHOP

A new bread and pastry workshop!

Our partners at Micropolis Social Space for Freedom are funding a new bread and pastry workshop. Nizar and Yehea, two Syrian refugees who have spent months waiting for relocation, decided that they could not wait for their lives to begin any longer. They decided to create and work.

Refugees becoming autonomous is extremely important, people who had their lives, jobs and homes taken away have been left dependent on the charity of others. Seeing refugees take hold of their own destiny is heart-warming and we are so proud to tell their story.

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DUBS AMENDMENT LEGAL CASE – UPDATE

Legal victory for Help Refugees on Dubs

Help Refugees has won a significant victory in its ongoing legal challenge to the Government’s failures to implement the Dubs amendment. The Dubs amendment in the Immigration Act 2016 requires the Government to ‘as soon as possible’ relocate unaccompanied refugee children from other European Countries. Until Help Refugees brought their legal challenge, the Government insisted that it could meet its obligations under the Dubs Amendment by transferring children that it was already required to accept for family reunification under European Union law (the Dublin III Regulation). Before Help Refugees started its litigation, not a single child had actually been transferred under the Dubs Amendment – all the children said by the Government to have been relocated under Dubs were in reality Dublin III transfers. This week , the High Court made a declaration in the our legal challenge which confirms that the number of children to be transferred under Dubs is separate from and additional to Dublin III transfers. Other parts of the Help Refugees legal challenge will be heard in the new year.

Help Refugees said: ‘The Government already owed legal duties under EU law since 2013 to unaccompanied children with close family ties in the UK. Dubs is additional to that – it is about the vulnerable and isolated children who have no family ties. Many of these children are in desperate situations and at serious risk of abuse and trafficking. With the blurring by the Government of the distinction between Dubs and Dublin, too little was happening on implementing the Dubs Amendment. We hope that this much needed clarification will ensure more transfers of Dubs children take place urgently. ‘

Rosa Curling of Leigh Day solicitors, the human rights lawyer representing us said ‘this declaration is a very welcome step in ensuring that the important new legal obligations that the Government owes refugee children under the Dubs amendment are properly implemented.’

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WORKING WITH MOTHERS AND BABIES ACROSS GREECE ON A DAILY BASIS

“These women and mothers – they’re strong. As a mother, you have some kind of special power because you are protecting your kid, something more important than yourself.”

There are currently over 50 refugee sites across Greece with few offering obstetric services. Our partners at Lighthouse Relief’s Infant and Young Child Feeding team are filling those gaps.

Read more about the day to day life at the Ritsona Refugee Camp Mother and Baby Area on the Lighthouse Relief’s blog.

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CHILDREN ARE PUTTING THEIR LIVES AT RISK […] BECAUSE THEY HAVE EXHAUSTED THEIR OPTIONS

“Children are putting their lives at risk only because they have exhausted their options: they were promised help and have been deceived. There is a real risk now that they will simply disappear, or freeze to death as the Winter temperatures drop.”

After journeying around France, following the unaccompanied children of ‘The Jungle’, Benjamin Hunter writes in The Independent today detailing the fate of these children since being scattered to accommodation centres around France.

Their future seems dark and with no information being given on their fate, many children are experiencing terrible mental health problems – resorting to self-harm to feel some control over their own lives.

One child told Benjamin “I need my brother. I only want my brother. I will kill myself if I am not with brother.”

“Government minister Edward Timpson said on Thursday during a parliamentary debate that the UK has “moved on from Calais operations”. […] Closed routes and “short term fixes” deny safety to those who come to the shores of Europe carrying only hope on their shoulders. They need safe passage, not pulled drawbridges and state silence. The British government may have “moved on from Calais”, but the children of the Jungle have not.”

Write to Amber Rudd and show her that we have not forgotten the children of Calais, and neither should she.

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CALAIS – LATEST NEEDS

The Calais warehouse continues to operate every day, getting aid  Together you have helped us build an amazing infrastructure and we hope to continue to support refugees in France and beyond from this hub over the months to come, as long as there is need.

Priority Items: things we are in desperate need of

  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Mens small trousers (Joggers or Jeans ( 28”/30”/32”))
  • Mens shoes size 8
  • Socks
  • Mens underwear (new)
  • Large, thick blankets
  • Small hoodies
  • Men’s/unisex deodorant

Everything Else

Men

  • S, M  waterproof and non-waterproof jackets
  • Trainers especially sizes 41 to 43, and ideally black
  • S, M long-sleeved tops, jumpers and hoodies (The warmer the better)
  • S, M  tracksuit bottoms/Jeans
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Socks (thick and thin)
  • S, M new underwear (not Y-fronts)
  • Gloves
  • Hats
  • Scarves

Women ( in order of priority)

  • XS, S, M leggings
  • XS, S, M tracksuit bottoms
  • XS, S, M Hoodies
  • XS, S, M Waterproof jackets
  • Socks
  • S, M Knickers
  • S, M, L tunic tops with long sleeves
  • 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.

 

Childrens Items

We are currently oversupplied with children’s clothes and toys, there are other charities,  many closer to home who would really benefit from the donations of these items.

 

Hygiene

  • Toilet paper
  • Men’s razors
  • Shaving foam
  • Deodorant (men’s)
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner

Food:

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):

 

Oranges
Smoked Paprika
cucumber
tomato
pepper
onions
garlic
fresh chilli
sea salt

olive oil
turmeric
lemon juice
oats
golden syrup
honey
dried fruit
cayenne pepper

leeks
celery
pasta
apples
aubergines
courgettes
butter
bicarbonate of soda
tomato puree
ketchup
mayonnaise
white vinegar
tahini
black pepper
jam/marmalade
hot chocolate

coffee
bin bags
washing up liquid
plastic gloves
disinfectant spray
potatos
tins of white beans

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
  • Serang wrap
  • Permanent markers
  • Thick rubber bands
  • A4 lever arch folders
  • Polythene pockets (for lever arch files)
  • A4 printer paper
  • White board markers

Miscellaneous:

  • Thick blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Roll mats
  • Whiteboards
  • Backpacks
  • Fire extinguishers
  • 3 sims for phones (£1 each, have to be purchased in the UK)
  • Lyca sims
  • Metal kettles
  • Plastic/metal cups, mugs, plates and cutlery
  • Lights and lanterns
  • Unlocked smart phones/power banks

SORTING GUIDELINES:

Please note that your donations MUST be sorted – if any items are damaged, soiled or inappropriate for the camp, they will create an enormous amount of waste, which delays vital aid reaching the refugees. We cannot accept deliveries that are unsorted, as our volunteers can be snowed under the mountain of unsorted donations. Please try to only bring 3 or 4 types of items in your delivery. However, we understand that this is not always possible, and we still appreciate your help. To efficiently sort your donations, please separate them into type eg blankets separate from clothing. Clothing and shoes will need to be separated (and then packed and accordingly labelled) by gender, size and type. For instance men’s M jumpers separate from the S. Women’s size 39 boots separate from women’s size 40 trainers, waterproof coats, separate from non-waterproof coats.

This saves the incredibly hard-working warehouse volunteers so much time and allows us to get the donations to the refugees considerably more quickly and more efficiently. We are currently sufficiently stocked up for quite some time with women and children’s items, except for the items mentioned in the priority list. If you need more guidelines on how to sort, please email me back and I will be happy to help.

You can also donate to our Calais and Dunkerque page here

If you are interested in supporting our non food item distribution teams with items such as tents, clothing, sleeping bags, kitchenware etc, please donate here

Refugee Community Kitchen provides a warm lunch to the residents of the Dunkirk camp every day. They need funds to buy the ingredients.  You can help them do this here

The Calais Woodyard saw and chop firewood and deliver it to the residents of the Dunkirk camp, to cook and to heat their living spaces. They need funds to buy sawblades and for fuel. To donate to their incredible work, please donate generously here

If you wish to send Emergency Supplies by post, please consider our wishlist at www.leisurefayre.com, where we have secured a generous 20% discount and fast postage with the distributor, who sends them directly to us as soon as possible!

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The Guardian and Observer 2016 has closed

Everything we do is only possible thanks to the compassion and humanity of the thousands of people who like us couldn’t stand by and do nothing in the face of the biggest humanitarian crisis since world war two.

We have been working tirelessly to fill gaps left in the provision of services left by governments and large NGOs. Our remit is expanding almost on a daily basis, funding everything from baby milk distribution to search and rescue. However we never lose sight of the long-term solutions needed for fairer treatment for displaced people.

We have only been able to achieve these incredible feats with the support of ordinary people.

We could not be more grateful to the 17,500 readers for their donations during the four-week appeal. The money will be shared between ourselves, Safe Passage and the Children’s Society. With the money donated we will be making a tangible difference to the lives of children living in camps across Europe.

Our co-founder Josie Naughton has been quoted in today’s Guardian: “This morning thousands of refugee children woke up in tents in sub-zero temperatures across Europe. Help Refugees will ensure the generous donations from the Guardian readers go towards improving the lives of these very children.

“Throughout the entire appeal, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support we have received and want to thank everyone who donated, as well as the Guardian and Observer.”

To find out how we will be putting this money to use follow our daily updates on here or on the news section of our website.

And don’t worry, if you weren’t able to donate to the Guardian appeal you still can help us with our much-needed work by donating using the big red button in the right hand corner of this page.

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HELP REFUGEES ANNOUNCED AS THE GUARDIAN CHRISTMAS CHARITY PARTNER.

The plight of child refugees is at the heart of this year’s Guardian and Observer charity appeal. Last year, the appeal was in aid of refugees, and they have returned to this theme again in what remains the greatest humanitarian crisis of our times.

This year, Help Refugees has been selected as one of the three Christmas charity partners, alongside Safe Passage (who we are proud to support) and The Children’s Society.

Children are being denied their childhood, either because bombs are falling on their homes or because they are stuck in deplorable camps. We will keep working on the ground directly as well as supporting the most effective grassroots groups whilst holding governments and NGOs to account.

We are a movement built on compassion and empathy. An incredible volunteer network and your boundless generosity allows us to provide child-friendly spaces, infant feeding programmes, support for families with food and shelter, integration projects, women and children’s centres, and advocacy and housing for unaccompanied minors.

Thank you so much for all your support. You are all Help Refugees.

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REFUGEES TO BE DEPORTED BACK TO GREECE FROM MARCH

The E.U Executive have announced that they will be lifting the 6 year ban on returning refugees to Greece from other European countries.

The move is being hailed as a vote of confidence in Greece, claiming that improvements have been made regarding living conditions for refugees. However, only 8,000 people of the 160,000 target have been relocated from Greece and Italy.

Many countries, including the U.K have refused to take any refugees from these countries. We are outraged that the E.U is talking about sending people back rather than fulfilling its duties. As leaders bicker in Brussels, thousands spend another winter in tents, warehouses and abandoned buildings watching their lives slip away.

Photograph: Geovien So/Barcroft Media

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WINTER SHOE DISTRIBUTION IN BEKAA VALLEY

Through our Back to School collection in September we were able to send an entire 40ft container full of children’s clothes, shoes, hygiene products and stationery to Lebanon, to our implementing partner Salam LADC سلام . Last week they distributed 145 pairs of winter shoes to families living in a settlement in Bekaa, near the Syrian border.

From our Calais warehouse, we are sending aid across Europe and to Lebanon and Syria. The team are working around the clock to pack desperately needed items into containers to be shipped out.

Haulage costs a great deal. To help us continue to send containers to Lebanon, Syria, Greece and wherever else they are needed, please donate here:

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CHOOSE LOVE EVENTS IN YOUR COMMUNITY

The response to our Choose Love winter appeal has been incredible. So many of you have been getting involved in organising your own events in your communities.

We have had some fantastic events so far and there are a lot to look forward to during December! You’ve been getting involved with events like pop-up shops, band nights, spoken word events and busking on the street and we couldn’t be more grateful.

Funds raised from our Choose Love Appeal will be focused on winterizing camps in Northern Greece. It has been snowing already and temperatures are dropping rapidly, last week it hit a low of -7.

The families and individuals who make up the estimated 56,000 of refugees in Greece are in desperate need of flooring and adequate shelter, as well as basic amenities like food, clothing and warmth – and we want to provide it.

Help us with our mission by creating your own Choose Love event. Email chooselove@helprefugees.org to receive our Community Fundraising event pack and our Choose Love Winter appeal pack to find out more about what we hope to achieve.

Alternatively, donate directly using the botton in the right hand corner.

And as ever #chooselove

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