Monday, 5 December 2016

Women to women: my first visit to a refugee camp

Whether you have entered into debates about refugees versus migrants and the role of European countries to welcome or bar the movement of people from areas of war, persecution and extreme poverty, we are all now aware that we are living in a time of huge upheaval, with desperate men, women and children living in squalor only a few miles away on the French coast. The closure of the infamous Calais jungle by the French government has not made these people magically disappear or stemmed the flow.

Many of us in the UK have been sending donations to the camps in France and Greece over the past two years, old clothes, shoes, nappies, milk, medicines and vitamins via grassroots organisations and committed individuals who have stored, packaged and sent our offerings. In the town where I live in Kent, the people I know who put out the call for donations all happen to be mothers with young children, travelling to the camps on a regular basis, volunteering their time, money and energy to go and be with people in need.