Nazanin Boniadi on a “very personal trip” to Calais

Nazanin Boniadi on a “very personal trip” to Calais

This weekend we were delighted to welcome actress Nazanin Boniadi to Calais, you may know her from How I Met Your Mother or Homeland. Everyone was thrilled to meet her – not least because she speaks Persian and took real time to hear people’s stories.

Nazanin does fantastic work speaking out for human-rights in Iran and for refugees. We’re so grateful to Nazanin not just for coming, but also for sharing her experiences from the weekend:

“My parents were political refugees to the UK, so volunteering for non-profit Care4Calais at makeshift refugee camps in Calais & Dunkirk was very personal to me. I met asylum seekers from Gambia, Senegal, Sudan, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan & my homeland Iran, who had gone through harrowing ordeals to get to France. They were all fleeing conflict or persecution in search of freedom & dignity. Because I speak Persian I spent much of my time talking to those who recently fled Iran to get a better understanding of the current situation in my homeland. They all left because of political or religious persecution by the Iranian government, leaving family & familiarity behind for an uncertain future.”

 

“We worked w/ Care4Calais to organize & distribute goods to the refugees, including tents, shoes, clothes, suitcases, coffee, tea, charging stations for mobile devices & haircuts. Volunteers also played with the children & provided English lessons. Volunteers & donations come from all over the world, a powerful civil society response to human suffering. The charity visits the refugees twice a week without fail. Many of the refugees were afraid to be on camera but they had a single message for the world: ‘please don’t turn away from us.’

 

“Amidst rising tensions with Iran, there are the human stories that are often forgotten by the rest of the world: Iranian families who are fleeing political persecution by the Islamic Republic authorities & find themselves living on the streets of a foreign country in search of a safe life for themselves & their children. They are forced to choose between an international community resistant to migrants & a homeland that is no longer tenable. 1000 refugees currently live in what’s called ‘the jungle’ of Calais, in inhumane & demoralizing conditions. Approximately 200 of them are Iranian. My deepest thanks to Clare Moseley who founded Care4Calais in 2015; to the refugees who welcomed us with open arms; & to Jacob, David, Mohamed & Youcef for your indomitable spirits.”

Thank you Nazanin! ❤️

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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