Today we did a special clear-up operation in Dunkirk after police evicted hundreds of refugees.
Evictions happen often in Dunkirk and Calais, as the authorities persist with this cruel and ineffective way of deterring refugees from gathering. They’re always upsetting, but this one was particularly hard for the refugees here because there was next to no warning. That meant they didn’t have time to pack up their tents and belongings, so a huge amount of people’s possessions were left behind.
It was horrible to see clothes, shoes, toys and other things from people’s lives just scattered around on the ground like that. It brought home how panicked and frightened they must have been, and the loss and waste really tugged at our hearts. People who have so little had been forced to abandon the few things they did have.
We were also concerned that the authorities might use the eyesore of the hastily vacated site to criticise refugees and justify more ill-treatment. It wouldn’t be fair, but then not much is fair when you’re a refugee here. So we set about clearing up the site.
As you can see, our group was brilliant; working hard, staying cheerful and getting the job done in a few hours. Just call us Care4Calais Womble Division (younger readers ask your mum or dad).
Our volunteers do amazing work like this to help refugees every day. Please come and volunteer with us!