Feedback from a visit to a CAO
We went there 5 of us to a CAO where 28 guys live mixed Sudanese and Afghan. We were welcomed by some of the guys from Sudanese community living there. As soon as they saw us they started waving and walked outside to greet us. We spoke for about 30min (some of us smoked together). While we were talking a couple of guys from Afganistan heard us and joined us outside. We explained that we came to visit and check on how they are doing. Got welcomed and invited for chai straight away. We went inside to check their home and everything seemed very nice, clean and warm. We had brought the winter clothes that they requested because none of them had warm clothing. We also brought some food as they were cooking for themselves on a very tight budget.
Most of our questions were answered with smile and followed by ‘no problem’. Everyone seemed happy and relaxed, there was definitely a feeling of close community and care there. Later on we asked Sudanese and Afgai communities to help us out with carrying donations. We joked a little about the lines that we used to have in the camp and everyone seemed to find it funny now. There was no need to control the situation or worry about anything more than ‘this is what we brought, is it ok if sedanese and afgani commiunites just split it in half?’. The response was smiles on peoples faces and again ‘no problem’. Everyone helped us to carry it inside to the Sudanese guys kitchen and dining area.
We sat there all together for maybe another 30min, ust showing photos of how ‘the jungle’ looks now and sharing our experiences. We asked some of them to let us know how they are feeling about the situation at the moment and if they are better of in the CAO. We got a lot of good feedback, people talking about good showers and nice facilities, the fact that they can stay together and that they are happier now.
They also kept saying how happy they are about our visit and how much they appreciate us just coming to talk to them and see how they are doing. The atmosphere was really nice and lifted everyones moods up. I believe us volunteers were very happy to be welcomed liked this and see smiles on people’s faces. We joked around for maybe another 10min and said that we need to leave now. All of the guys kept asking when is the next time we are coming, and that we should let them know, so they could cook some food for us. ? We shook last hands, exchanged hugs and left soon after. I think the company and the fact that we have not forgotten them was more important than the physical donations that we took.