All of Us Matter is joining in the response to help out in the refugee crisis of millions of displaced men, women and children. Stateless and homeless people are suffering in refugee and detention camps. Men, women, and children are leaving their homes in, Syria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Ukraine over wars, famines, and the pursuit of religious freedom. To add insult to injury these refugees are in the line of fire for traffickers. This crisis is a breeding ground for human trafficking.
In our world, there are nearly 34,000 people who are forcibly displaced every day as a result of conflict or persecution. I know that it feels like the world is hemorrhaging and it's heart-wrenching when we read about all the suffering in the world. Sometimes we can feel compassion fatigue and with so much suffering around us, “Where does one begin?”. This week I found out how easy it was to make the decision to just go and give my weekend away. I volunteered with the good people of Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action group that serves as a middle man to get people organized from Cambridge, England to Calais, France, volunteering alongside L’Auberge Des Migrant Warehouse to feed and clothe refugees. I am in awe of these volunteers! After just two days on kitchen duty, I am tired and completely covered in lentils. Yet, the full-time volunteers make hot ethnic meals for lunch and dinner for over 2,400 people 7 days a week! I only gave a weekend, but after being there in the midst of the most vulnerable, I realized what that weekend meant to those who are in need. We all can do something to care for our neighbor. We simply have to start where we are and take action, no matter how big or small.
Refugees and migrants are exponentially more likely to be preyed upon by traffickers because they are extremely vulnerable. I was told that cars drive around the edge of the camp to kidnap and traffic people. If they are kidnapped, few people will go looking for them because they have little-to-no ties to the country or community they reside in. People are fleeing the conflict-ridden and war-torn societies of Ukraine, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria and many other countries for Europe in hope of a better life. I have never lived in a war zone but I can understand that these people have lost everything and need our help as they try to put the pieces of their lives back together. Please find a way to help, below are some of the ways to plug in, especially if you are in Europe. Please click through the links and find out how.
A message from Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group:
The current needs on the ground in Calais, Paris, and Dunkirk are below. All aid preferably needs to be size and item sorted and labeled
Our friends at the Daily Bread Cooperative in Kings Hedges are continuing to take donations of food and clothes off for us. If you want to make a donation of food or other essential items please see the list below. If you have a large amount please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a drop-off.
REQUIRED ITEMS FOOD DONATIONS – tinned fish (with a ring pull lid), biscuits, white sugar, nuts, dates, dried fruit, energy bars, olive oil, vegetable oil, tea bags, garlic, chili flakes, large bags of spices, sea salt, lentils
OTHER ITEMS NEEDED sleeping bags, roll mats, wind up torches, men’s hats, gloves and scarfs, blankets, mobile phones with the charger, new men’s socks size 39-43
We try to hold drop off days once every 6 weeks around the Cambridge area for people to drop off these and other item. We have previously used church halls, village halls, office spaces and a dance studio. We need a large room with at least two parking spaces for two to three hours. If you have a venue that you think might be suitable and we could use for free, please contact us at Cam4calaisdonations@gmail.com
Start conversations that matter, let's be a voice to the voiceless.
Crystal, Founder, and Visionary at All of Us Matter