I made some great friends in Calais whilst volunteering for the charity Care4Calais. The people I met are from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Libya, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and elsewhere too. These people have fled war or persecution in the hope of a better life somewhere else. They’ve spent all their money and spent many months travelling to get here. My friends here are clever, funny, intelligent people who play me at football and dominos and teach me phrases in new languages. My friends sleep rough every night. It always seems to rain in Calais and the wind is sometimes so strong it might knock you over. The conditions are so bad that many refugees living here have problems with their feet from cold and wet conditions.
My job in Calais was simply to make these people’s lives a bit less awful. I can’t take them to England, I can’t offer them much. But I can take them clothes and I can take them solidarity. No-one should be forced to live in these conditions and everyone should have the hope for a better future. By standing in the cold and rain chatting and laughing I can show these guys that someone cares. By sharing my story with you then maybe we can make a small step towards policy change which will give refugees a greater chance at a successful life.
To find out more, to donate or volunteer visit www.care4calais.org