All across Europe when we meet refugees and ask them what they need most, they tell us ‘information’. Information on their options, their legal rights, the asylum process and aid/help available to them.
We are thrilled to introduce you to the Refugee Info Bus, a mobile tech hub that is currently based in Calais and the surrounding areas of northern France. They are providing free internet for refugees, free multilingual legal information, refugee rights work shops and facilitating refugee led journalism.
After months of planning, the last few weeks has seen the Info Bus come to fruition. The team have renovated an old horse box into a smart, functional space with reliable electricity from an onboard battery bank, powered by solar panels. Every day they visit a different section of the camp, turn on the wifi and make new friends. Several times a week the team run asylum information workshops in the bus as well as other social places in the camp.
Earlier this week the Info Bus team stuck a world map on the side of the bus, this has been surprisingly popular and has started many conversations. People show their friends of other nationalities Darfur or Asmara or Homs or Kandahar and the countries they traveled through to Calais.
This is incredibly important as it helps to make the bus a social place. With the camp increasingly over populated and much more dense since the eviction of the south side in March, tensions between nationalities, frustrated and bored, can flare up. Common places open for all residents are essential for the wellbeing of a community.
Help Refugees are proud to partner with the Refugee Info Bus in their essential mobile service providing vital information.
To donate directly please visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/refugeeinfobus
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!