Making friendships far from home

Making friendships far from home


Today we were making friendship bracelets whilst on distribution in Calais, and a small group of guys from Sudan came over and started thinking about the colours they could use and what sort of style they’d like.

We made various suggestions, but one of them laughed and said no, no and then he thought for a bit and said, I know, I want a Bob Marley – one, red gold and green. Bob Marley is always popular with the guys here and you sometimes hear them talk about him.

Anyway, they were soon deep in quiet concentration weaving /plaiting the bands, making sure they kept them neat and straight. Two of them were working on a Bob-inspired design whilst another made a slimmer one using the red and white colours inspired by the Sudanese flag.

We’ve been offering friendship-bracelet-making on the bike stall for a few weeks now. In a way it might not seem a big deal to someone looking in from the outside but when you don’t have much, small things can have a bigger meanings, and this is a way of interacting with people, talking about something different apart from the daily grind of life as a refugee in Calais. That little bit of self-expression makes a difference.

The refugees and volunteers enjoy it – It usually takes an hour or so to make a bracelet, you can do it together without knowing much of each others language, and its nice that there’s something physical at the end of it.

The support we provide isn’t just about basic necessities, friendship is a big part of it too, and these small bracelets are little symbols of that.

As we finished up a nice fat Marley-esque number today. it made us all consider what else we could do and I plan to get a few more colours to bring back next week. Maybe we should get some black and white to get working on some #StopRwanda versions!

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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