Sharing some Christmas cheer in Calais
Yesterday, for Christmas day, the team in Calais wanted to do something special. They set out as normal to distribute much needed thermals and blankets to the refugees at the hospital site, where we usually see around 120 people. But we also had a small, individually wrapped Christmas gift for each person, things like chocolate bars, playing cards, and notepads and pens.
This was an important day because it gave us the chance to truly show the refugees they are welcome here, by sharing a small part of our culture with them. Many have never experienced Christmas before and it’s great to just sit and tell them about our early memories of Christmases with our families and friends. Hopefully this will give them a greater sense of belonging here.
One young Sudanese man was a little confused about why we were giving him this wrapped item and he had no concept of gift giving of this sort, and so we explained that people exchange gifts at this time of year to show their appreciation and love for each other; he was very happy and grateful for his gift.
After the distribution there was a chance to play a football game – volunteers vs refugees; it was a close match with the refugees being victorious and a final score of 4-3.
There is so much more to our job than just giving out aid – and sometimes it’s the small things that mean the most.
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