Volunteers get ready for Eid with joint distribution in London

Volunteers get ready for Eid with joint distribution in London

Our volunteers in south west London have been busy this week, organising a special Eid distribution to residents of all ages, including some families. Many of them have been at the hotel for nearly a year.

The residents are a diverse group. Since we started distributing here we have gotten to know people from Iran, Iraq, Russia, Albania, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sudan and Eritrea. They live with constant feelings of uncertainty over their asylum claims and whether they will be moved.

At Christmas, we gave out 100 gift hampers so we wanted to do something for Eid too – many will be celebrating the end of Ramadan next week.

We try to make our distributions and activities something to look forward to. An opportunity to come out and socialise and see more of their local area. We help our friends top up their Oyster cards for travelling to college, and organise collections of suitcases, and music speakers. We also sourced a bike for one of the guys.

One of the ladies, wanted to find out more about how she can find employment as an anaesthetist. With lots of experience in this field in Kurdistan, she is keen to find a job in the UK as soon as possible. We have so many enquiries at every distribution because people’s needs are always changing – especially when they’ve been there for so long.

Our joint team was ready with cupcakes and muffins, gift bags including halal sweets and cosmetics, fresh cookies, Pakoray and pasta boxes from Cafe Zee and some scarves for the ladies.

Seema, one of our volunteers, said: “The atmosphere was pretty electric. Last week, I was feeling a little down, as I had nothing to give our residents to make their Eid special. But this week, we had an amazing day with lots of excited faces and wonderful support from partner charities. The extra goodies really brought a smile to their faces.”

A big thanks to Saima and Zechariah from the Shahid Afridi Foundation for joining us and organising the Eid gift bags, and to the Muslim Cultural Welfare Association of Sutton MCWAS and Dons Local Action Group for the additional food donations.

To support our work go to Care4Calais.org/donate.

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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