A reflection on 2016
As 2016 draws to an end we are reflecting on the year.
Care4Calais began in August 2015 and we had no idea that we would still be here a year and a half later. The situation was uncertain then and we’re sad to say it is still so today.
The camp known as the ‘Jungle’ was demolished twice this year and twice we have seen that trying to sweep the problem under the carpet is futile and does nothing to solve the actual crisis. There are still hundreds of people coming to Calais and now, instead of them all being in one place, they are dispersed in smaller camps in the surrounding area or living on the streets in Paris. This is just what we feared; all that it has achieved is making the public less aware of the reality of the situation. The ‘Jungle’ may have gone but this doesn’t mean the people have, destroying the camp has done nothing to solve the war and conflict people are fleeing and therefore they will keep on coming.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, yes we have seen that there are many people who oppose charities like us and do not support refugees, but we have also seen that there are many people who do. Despite the lack of support from the government there have been many incredible people who have shown great acts of humanitarianism.
To us, 2016 has been the year of compassion that has been shown by so many volunteers and donors. We’ve had over 5000 people come to work with us this year and over 4000 people donate to us. We’ve seen thousands of people take to the streets and march to parliament to show their support and other who have signed petitions to show they will not stand by and watch these atrocities happen. Every single one of these people have shown the world that they stand in solidarity with refugees and that they are welcome and we salute you all.
We now call upon more of you to show your support to refugees. We know there are more of you out there, but perhaps you have not known how to show your support. We know at times it can feel like ‘how can one person make a difference?’, but we have already shown that together we can. When we all work together and put the pressure on, our voices can be heard, but we need more of you to stand with us.
Whether you start by sharing one of our posts, donating, or volunteering with us, please make it your New Years resolution to show your support. However big or small, it’s vital that we move forward together in 2017 and in Jo Cox’s words, show that ‘we have far more in common than that which divides us’.
If we don’t those negative voices that sometimes seem so loud, will become more prominent and fear and ignorance will takeover. We need to be louder and send a clear message that 2017 will be the year of humanitarianism.
Please pledge your support and stand with refugees all over the world by liking and sharing this post.
Happy New Year from all of us at Care4Calais.