WE ARE SEVEN ASSOCIATIONS WORKING WITH REFUGEES IN CALAIS.
TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND ALL OUR SUPPORTERS,
Since the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp was destroyed in 2016, the media have largely moved on from Calais. Yet people fleeing war, persecution and climate change hasn’t stopped. From Afghanistan to Ukraine, people are still seeking safety, and for many people that means joining family or communities in the UK.
While the boat crossings might occasionally make it onto British news, the bigger picture is ignored: how millions of pounds from UK taxpayers are being spent on making this one of the most hostile and dangerous borders in Europe.
Today, there are still people stuck in Calais, living in tents or under tarpaulin in temporary settlements scattered across the area. Grassroots organisations working on the ground have adapted to the deteriorating conditions and continue to support people on the move by providing a range of basic services which neither the French nor British authorities are willing to offer. This includes the distribution of clothing, water, food, shoes, tents, backpacks, hygiene packs, first aid, firewood and information, as well as specialized support for unaccompanied minors, children, and women.
Who are Calais Appeal?
We are a consortium of seven grassroots organisations working in Northern France. Between them, they provide food and water, clothing, tents, chopped wood & hygiene items, psycho-social support to families and children, protection for women experiencing violence or harassment through access to safe spaces, a mobile charging station with access to wifi and sim cards and monthly reports by human rights observers on state violence and forcible evictions perpetrated against displaced people.
We have been able to continue to support displaced communities in Calais over the years thanks to donations from our supporters. In 2021, we suffered a major loss in funding. On top of this, we’re facing a worsening situation with increased harassment from police and locals obstructing us from carrying out essential humanitarian aid.
That’s why we launched the Calais Appeal, to inform our supporters and the wider public about the situation on the UK-French border, the mistreatment of displaced communities and our own efforts to support people on the move. Now, more than ever, we recognise that we must act together to guarantee the long-term future of front-line grassroots groups in northern France and our ability to deliver vital support.
We share resources, funds, social media postings, safeguarding protocols and find strength in working together.