When you’re sleeping rough, first aid is a must
Yesterday a man from Syria came up to our first aid station during distribution with swollen mosquito bites all over his legs. As well as being allergic, the bites had started to become infected from poor hygiene and sleeping rough. Sadly, he said the local hospital refused to help him.
He had a friend next to him who the man has been with since the start of their journey. They left Syria eight months ago and spent the entire time walking across Europe together. Ever since the incident at the hospital, the man’s friend has stood loyally by his side. He promised to accompany him next time so he doesn’t have to feel scared.
But his friend was just one of the lovely people ready to step up yesterday to provide the support the man had been denied locally. First, a volunteer from the wonderful First Aid Support Team – FAST cleaned and patched up the man’s leg from top to bottom – when you’re sleeping on the streets, even small infections can develop into serious problems.
Then, one of our own volunteers, a French girl who speaks fluent Classical Arabic, helped us explain to the man how to correctly apply the medication we provided and recommended him a different hospital to visit in case things got worse. She told the man we would come back in a few days for another distribution and promised to check up on him then.
I will not soon forget how thankful the man was. After so many months fighting for survival across multiple countries, several episodes of abuse and violence at the hands of different governments, and an unexpectedly hostile experience in what should have been a care setting, meeting people who clearly cared about his wellbeing felt overwhelming.
Since it’s incredibly easy to get hurt or fall ill when you sleep rough, first aid is an essential part of our distributions in Calais and Dunkirk. To support our work go to care4calais.org/donate