The Refugee Volunteers
There are many unsung heroes behind the work we do in Calais. Sayeed, a refugee who helps with cooking lunches for the volunteers is one of them. He has a magical ability to turn a few vegetables and some rice into a tasty, heartwarming meal that really helps keep team spirits high.
Here’s a lovely account from a recent volunteer of sharing memories, recipes and hope whilst cooking together in Calais:
“On my last day at the warehouse we meet Sayeed* (not actual name) he has become friends with the charity over the months and helped with distributing items to his companion refugees who are all based near the old jungle. The police had been there this morning on their routine checks – Sayeed and the others went back to the site to resettle, until the next time. We pick him up in the layby and bring him back to base, he helps with cooking our lunch – informing us of the ingredients needed as we go about fetching them. Soon we are all sitting in the volunteer area quietly, tucking gleefully into the dishes and in between large mouthfuls thanking courteously from volunteer to volunteer. Sayeed shows me the dishes he’s made on his phone – we both share thoughts and memories of savoury dishes; discussing the delicate nature of how some meats and rice are to be cooked and with what utensils. I thank him and return to our task before going out on distribution again. I then realise our conversations throughout these days are all based on hope, the motivation to cook for others, keep distracted and talk tirelessly with peers and volunteers, all to make the next leg of their journey the safest one possible.”
Ros King, a recent volunteer.
To find out more about volunteering at Calais go to: https://care4calais.org/get-involved/volunteer-in-france/