Helping the #HumansofCalais

UNISON West Sussex member Berry Bonner-le-Fur writes:

“The migrant population at Calais is rising again above 3,000 with only 150 women and children (out of an estimated of 300) having access to a minimal state support. The once-a-day meal officially provided by the government, and helped by the local association to do so, covers only 50% of the population meaning there are long queues to get one meal.”

“Despite assertions made by some politicians and media outlets, out of the 4 million Syrians who fled their country, only 4% try to make it to Europe. The vast majority being in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and North Africa. So the situation we refuse to deal with in many European countries is barely the tip of the iceberg.”

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“I am a Commissioning Manager in the Learning Disability Service for West Sussex County Council and have become involved in the growing movement of UK-based people trying to help the situation at Calais, especially at the approach of winter.”

“We arrange for regular convoys of food, clothes, blankets, tents etc. to the ‘jungle’ as well as support the residents in keeping the place dry and clean with litter picking initiatives and so on.”

“Working with refugees is part of my extended family’s traditions. My father went out to rescue boat people in the 70s and my husband and his family supported Chilean asylum seekers in the 80s. I always say that if one day my child was ever in need of shelter or a helping hand, I would like to think that someone out there would be there for him.”

“On 19 September, I will be joining a large gathering of UK and European volunteers in Calais, contributing towards a huge delivery of supplies and meeting each other in one international movement for the first time.”

“If you wish to contribute to this effort in any way, please contact me and will get back to you asap. I enclose a list of wanted items for your information (see picture below).”

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