The Trek through the Jungle of Calais
Recently, the immigrant crisis has grown rapidly in Europe with refugees coming in their thousands every day, seeking shelter and a better future. They have come from war-stricken countries, mostly in the Middle East and are fleeing from major conflicts. Once they have arrived in Europe, they seek refuge in camps which try to provide shelter and food. An example of this is the Jungle Camp in Calais, where many refugees are trying to cross the Channel to Britain for an easier life there. However, the journey across the Channel is risky and is becoming harder every day due to the new restrictions around the border that the government has enforced. This leaves many stranded in the camp with harsh living conditions.
These conditions include the refugees only having one meal a day, being forced to live in battered tents and not having sufficient health care for those in need. Many are in desperate need of health care because of injuries sustained whilst trying to cross the channel, or diseases due to the lack of hygiene. The only aid available is from volunteers and charities who have limited equipment and supplies. Also, there have not been enough tents, meaning families have to shelter together in overcrowded areas.
These refugees have experienced countless horrors including persecution, wars, natural disasters and severe poverty. Amid all of the conflicts which have contributed to the crisis, the main crisis is the Syrian civil war, which has had a severely devastating impact. It has caused the movement of over four million refugees since June 2015.
Here at Beaconsfield High School, we have been involved in helping with the crisis. ‘Help Refugees’, a charity which collects and organises donations for the camp, has presented to the school so that now, we can help to gather donations for the camp. Mireille and her family, representing the charity, introduced this to four year groups at Beaconsfield High School – years 7, 8, 12 and 13. As Mireille, the organiser, said in her interview, “It was hard to see people suffering on the news knowing that I was far more privileged than them.”
After looking on various websites, Mireille said that she was able to find out what types of food donations were needed (for instance, they requested rind pull tins as they had no tin openers). Mireille set up the organisation following the guidelines set by the charity in order to provide the best service for these refugees. After this, Julie and her sister Melanie (students at Beaconsfield High School) presented the project to two year groups each, meaning approximately 630 students are now informed about the work of ‘Help Refugees’.
This is just one example of a charity set up to aid the Jungle camp and its inhabitants. All over Europe, a lot has been done to help the refugees. This includes the formation of new charities, the work of volunteers, as well as funds and shelter being provided by the government. However, each day the number of refugees increases and thus, their needs are becoming more and more urgent.
Julie & Sahar