Eid is a time of pure joy and celebration for Muslims, but for those refugees in a strange country far from home it can also feel heartbreakingly sad. To help with that, our amazing volunteer Nicola put together gift bags with these beautiful home-made lamps “to bring light in the darkness, and let them know they may be a long way from home, but there are people here who love and welcome them.”
Nicola was so saddened by anti-refugee demonstrations in her area that she resolved to do something to counter the isolating effect they can have on refugees. Marshalling the efforts of friends and helpers and working late into the evenings, she has made 200 stencilled bags containing lamps, flowers, dates, sweets and snacks, and a card.
The card was designed by a young twin brother and sister, and the bags will be delivered by two refugees called Biniam and Issa. All belong to the Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity group in Derby, so the whole thing is about people coming together.
Nicola says that after volunteering in Calais for the first time some years ago, she came back to the UK determined to make a difference here too. “It’s awful to think of the hurt that’s been caused to people by the protests, Nicola told us. “But everytime we’ve held a counter-demonstration, there have been many more people on the welcome side. That’s what we all hope these Eid gifts will get across; that love is greater than hate.”
Across the UK and northern France our volunteers are working to make refugees feel happy and welcome at Eid and every day. Please join them, or support their work if you can; just a little time or a small donation can make a big difference: care4calais.org/get-involved/
Thank you to the amazing Julie and Steve at Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity for their help.