Jenga – Care4Calais style!

Jenga – Care4Calais style!

Today in Calais I met a rock star.

I was playing Jenga with Adil, a Sudanese refugee in his twenties.

It was our special Care4Calais version of Jenga, which doubles as a learning English quiz. The questions are things like ‘what’s your favourite colour?’ and ‘who’s your favourite person in the world?’ Multi tasking and having fun.

Some of Adil’s replies were so funny. Could he play an instrument? Oh yes, electric guitar – didn’t I know he was a rockstar back in Sudan. Naively at first I thought he was serious, and he roared with laughter.

Next – his favourite animal? A lion, he said, because at home he had a pet lion to protect him. He didn’t get me that time, but we did talk just a bit about why he left. He’d had to run from “soldiers”, which I guessed could have been militia or government forces.

His memories of home were obviously painful; when I asked who his favourite person was, he said his mum – nothing unusual about that, true, except he hadn’t seen her for three years. We both paused sadly at that point, but we were soon back laughing.

These games are a break from the daily grind for the guys here, and I was so happy to have fun with him like this, even if it did mean him chortling at my dumb responses.

Towards the end of our game I asked where he would most like to go in the world and why? It was the UK, of course. The reason? “So I can feel safe. It’s all I want in my life,” he said. “To be safe from police, and study economics.”

Most of us in the UK take such things for granted, and can hardly see the allure for someone like Adil. It made me determined to do three things in future. First, remember people need to have a laugh now and again. Second, fight the hostility in the UK so that the faith Adil has in us is justified. And third – be sceptical when people tell me they’re rock stars!

You can help people like Adil in Calais, and when they arrive on the UK and need friends and support. Please get in touch to ask about volunteering with us at Care4Calais:

About Care4Calais

Care4Calais was founded by a group of volunteers with the sole aim of supporting the people of the Calais refugee camps, providing fresh meals, warm clothing, heating and important legal and medical support.

We are not politicians – we are people like you who simply believe that every human has the right to be treated in a fair and dignified way.

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