For refugees, a phone is their lifeline

For refugees, a phone is their lifeline

Last week we found a group of 20 Sudanese men sleeping behind a small hedge to hide from the police. They had absolutely nothing, not even sleeping bags. Our stocks of tents are scarily low but we promised to come back with tarps and blankets. Then one of them asked us about a phone.

The most important thing to almost any refugee is their phone. We know people who will go without food just to get phone credit. It’s their lifeline – their only way of calling people back home, of knowing if their families are safe and of using GPS to find out where they are. A phone is the single most important thing they own.

We asked who within the group needed a phone and explained how hard these are for us to get. They discussed it between themselves, came back and said: “We really need just two phones. That’s enough for all of us to share. If you can get us just two phones, we will be very, very happy.”

These young men from Darfur have nothing. But they still don’t ask for much. They are quiet, reserved and so lovely and welcoming to us. We hope the UK can be as lovely and welcoming to them.

A mobile phone is the ultimate gift you can give a refugee. The cheapest decent smartphone we can buy costs £49. You can contribute at

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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