As part of Refugee Week 2018, I went with my Councillor colleagues, Peray Ahmet, Matthew White and Mike Hakata and other activists from Haringey Stand Up to Racism to help refugees stranded in Calais and Dunkirk through Care4Calais. Thanks to everyone who donated to Care4Calais, we raised over £1500. This will support vital work that Care4Calais are doing to stand by refugees and treat them with dignity.
We went to a distribution point in Dunkirk where hundreds of people are staying in tents in the woods and in an open field. There are children, women and young men who have fled wars, persecution and extreme poverty. They have no food or sanitation. They rely entirely on the generosity of volunteers and charities that come to help them. Through Care4Calais, we gave each person a hygiene kit containing basic essentials that they will need on a day to day basis.
This was my second solidarity trip to Calais. I personally benefit more from these trips than people who are stranded there. I realise how fortunate I am to live in a country without persecution where I do not fear for my life or my safety. I am free to express my views and live my life freely. These are things that we take for granted. For the refugees fleeing war, persecution and violence, they just want a chance to live and enjoy what we all enjoy. They want the simple things in life. Yet, our governments in the West have turned their backs on refugees. They are not fulfilling their obligations under the Refugee Convention.