If you can count, fold, cook, chat, play or sweep you will be indispensable
Four years ago, when I first came to volunteer with Care4Calais I thought it was all temporary. I thought the refugees would stay here temporarily, and the charity would only be here for a little bit, while the need was here. This is now my sixth time here and the situation remains awful.
The makeshift settlements with hundreds of men, women and children in shrub lands, sports centres and derelict spaces are still here. There’s many different people here now, all with the same horrible stories to tell, the same hopes of safety and shelter, the same love of football and cricket. It’s not right that they are in the same dangerous and desperate situation.
Four years in, the set up is still the same at Care4Calais with warehouse jobs in the morning such as sorting the diminishing amounts of donations, cleaning and arranging the hairdressing kits and preparing tea and coffee for distributions in the afternoon. This week, during distributions, I’ve met Afghan 16 year olds, fluent in English and premier league football who dream of living in England, in safely and going to school.
When I came in 2017, I was shocked at the number of families with tiny children living in a basic sports centre, I thought it would be temporary but there are still a lot of tiny children living in a sports centre. This is disgusting and we need to do better.
Care4Calais work really hard to make it better, both here on the ground and politically from the UK. If you can and want to help it’s easy, you can give donations (cricket bats are appreciated a LOT), donate money or come over to Calais for any amount of time. If you can count, fold, cook, chat, play or sweep you will be indispensable. It’s no longer in the news but the situation is still awful in Calais.