Update from Refugee Youth Service – offering stability and opportunity to vulnerable youths

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.

Good news from the Refugee Youth Service. The new youth-only space within the Calais camp, run in partnership with Médecins Sans Frontières has now been up and running for a week. The space incorporates the child protection services already provided by Refugee Youth Service with MSF’s vital legal and psychosocial services.

On the Saturday prior opening, an Eid BBQ was held to celebrate the closing of Ramadan. The young people enjoyed music, games and plenty of dancing. There were lots of new faces at the party, demonstrating just how essential this move was to enable some of the most vulnerable residents of the community to access their services.

RYS has also launched its new education program, which has been a resounding success. A fully dedicated classroom is now open between 12pm and 7pm daily, with specialist teachers running a timetable of Maths, English and French lessons. The classroom is also open in between these classes, when young people can come for one-to-one tutoring. This is particularly popular with those less confident students. One aim of these private sessions is to build up this confidence so that eventually they are able to join the group classes.

Help Refugees has supported the fantastic endeavours of the team at Refugee Youth Service since the very beginning. We are delighted that the new location and set-up will enable them to reach many more young people and have more frequent contact with those already known to them.

RYS are providing consistent support, in a secure environment with access to education, physical aid, medical and psychological care, adapted to the needs of the young people living in the camp, the vast majority of whom are unaccompanied. To support their brilliant work by donating please click here: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/refugeeyouthservice

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!