Blog

CHARITIES CALL FOR GOVERNMENT TO URGENTLY TRANSFER 80 CHILDREN FROM DUNKIRK RUINS TO THE UK

In response to the fire that burnt the Dunkirk refugee camp to the ground, and left hundreds of people homeless, we and our partners Safe Passage, Refugee Youth Service and Dunkirk Legal Centre are calling on the UK government to transfer the children from the camp who have a legal right to be with their families in the UK or transfer those who are particularly vulnerable under the ‘Dubs scheme’.

Together we have identified 80 children in Dunkirk who have relatives in the UK, or would be eligible under the Dubs scheme, with the right to be safely and legally transferred. Given the extreme distress that the children now face, charities are calling on the UK government to transfer them immediately.

Currently no arrangements have been made by French or UK authorities for the safe accommodation of unaccompanied children from the Dunkirk camp leaving the children at real risk of disappearing in the chaos.

Safe Passage have sent the list of 80 family reunion and Dubs scheme eligible children to the UK Home Office, and will be sharing that list with their French counterparts.

Help Refugees said:
“Today in Dunkirk, over 100 children have become homeless. More than half of these children have a legal right to be living with family in the UK. Both the French and UK governments are putting lives at risk by ignoring the situation. They need to expedite the process for family reunion to the UK, and put proper protection measures in place for those children remaining in France, a process which is long overdue’

Michael McHugh from our partners Refugee Youth Service said:
“This situation again highlights that without access to family reunification processes or support to access French and European protections systems vulnerable young people will end up staying in unsuitable camps for lengthy periods and remain at risk of violence, exploitation or sadly being lost from the system during points of crisis.”

We’ve set up a emergency response MyDonate page, with all the funds we raise continuing to be spent on items such as blankets, sleeping bags, clothes, hygiene packs & food for those affected. Please donate here.

 

Read more

EMERGENCY APPEAL FUND FOR DUNKIRK

The fire in Dunkirk Grand Synthe refugee camp in Northern France last night was devastating to us all.

It has now been confirmed that 80% of shelters have burnt, destroying possessions and making 1500 residents of the camp homeless. Approximately half of population affected are now being housed in three nearby gymnasiums, providing safety and shelter for the remaining residents is still undecided.

We are so grateful for the response that we have already received, your support and willingness to help at this time will be monumental in providing necessary safety.

The items that we need urgently are:
Sleeping bags/blankets
Foil blankets
Rucksacks
Bottled water
Savoury biscuits/cereal bars
Dried fruit/nuts
Tinned fish

Please email calaisdonations@gmail.com

You can also donate using our emergency fundraiser on MyDonate

Or send items directly to our warehouse through LeisureFayre:

If you have items you’d like to offer, you can find your nearest drop-off point here: http://refugeemaps.org/

Thank you – your support is invaluable.

Read more

CALLING EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS TO PROTECT UNACCOMPANIED MINORS

Italy has become Europe’s first country to pass a comprehensive law ensuring a minimum standard of care for unaccompanied migrant and refugee children. The Zampa law boosts current protection policies, with measures including the reduction of time children spend in initial reception centres and the improvement of age assessment procedures.

 
While we welcome the news, we’re aware that many of the act’s measures are already covered by existing laws that are being neglected. Our teams in Italy have witnessed the government’s failure to treat minors with the dignity and respect they deserve. We hope that the new law will address the persistent violation of their rights in Italy, and encourage other European governments to follow suit.

Read more

TEACHING REFUGEE CHILDREN IN LEBANON

We’ve worked with Salam LADC سلام and Breteau Foundation to set up the Mobile Education Bus, which visits four camps and one orphanage every week in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.

 
On board our brilliant teacher Amira uses tablets and mobile applications to teach literacy, numeracy and English, in line with the Lebanese curriculum. We are delighted to see the children enjoying themselves and ready to learn before the start of the day! To help us support amazing projects like this, please donate here.

Read more

The Timber Project: Introducing the Shopping Arcade

We’re proud to be funding Timber Projects latest project, a shopping arcade in the new camp in Katsikas, Greece. A community space that will supply clothes, shoes and fresh food ranging from fruit & veg, cheese and tinned goods.

This project will provide a social space where the evolving refugee community can sit in the shade, catch up with friends and take their mind off day-to-day responsibilities.

We love to empower small, effective groups like the Timber Project. To help us continue to support projects like this, please donate here: Mydonate

Read more

UPDATE IN CALAIS.

Last night, on the daily outreach with Utopia 56, at least 80% of the refugees we saw were under 18, with the youngest no older than 13 years old. The evening began with Refugee Community Kitchen serving 140 hot wholesome meals, prepared in our Calais warehouse with L’auberge des migrants international, in a fixed location, not far from the former Calais camp. Clothing, shoes, backpacks, hygiene items and sweet tea were then distributed to those in need.

However, the distribution was disrupted as both armed riot police and local police encircled the entire distribution. Young people quietly ate, drank and took items such as hats and coats as the temperature dropped and the sun began to go down. The police began to approach those waiting for aid, and aggressively demanded to see the young people’s passports and began contesting their ages.

With boys as young as thirteen being disrupted from peacefully eating by teams of police with guns, we want to highlight the ongoing mistreatment experienced by young teenagers in northern France.

Read more