The charities at Calais do an amazing job, they provide 1700 meals every day along with where ever possible clothes and footwear. Now its getting cold 4 degrees, last night its more important than ever. They provide a seven day service to migrants dotted all over the immediate area and as far as Dunkirk although I hear reports of migrants on many coastal areas of France. They provide simm cards so they can keep in touch. (Just the card not the data, (they have to find that money themselves). They try to provide tents and blankets and firewood when ever they can but this is all dependent on resources and man power at the warehouse as it all has to be checked, and washed or repaired as necessary.
I spoke with a group of young ladies all sewing at the warehouse, interestingly the Irish and German girl were taught at school. The two English girls were eager to learn but were not get taught at school. When I went to school all the boys did woodwork and the girls Home Economics. No reason why it should be so sexist today but another area where skills useful in every day life appear to have been dropped by the English curriculum!!
The Red Cross provide twice weekly basic medical services outsourced to wherever they are required. There are also daily language classes in French and English but there are very popular and greatly oversubscribed. The building they are held in is running short of cash and may end soon due to lack of funding. They also have a regular law service where migrants cases can be discussed and advice given .,The warehouse is like a military oeration, hygiene is given a high priority becasue of the number of people involved. New staff are introduced to mentors or buddies and advised on how to carry out the procedures safely and hygenically. With so many people involved they cannot afford to cut corners.
To comment on the migrant issue is impossible, there is no easy solution. One observation I have made is the relationship between charities and governments is cautious on both sides. Without these charities taking up their humanitariam work I believe there would be an increae in crime and in fear for the local population. I am sure the governments are aware of this so there is a delicate balance between the governments determination to deter migrants coming but they probably accept the charities prevent more disorder and antisocial beahviour at no cost to the public purse. They have diffeernt agendas, the charities is humanitarian and the governments focus on keeping their community safe. This leaves a lot of space to whipup fear amongst people too, its an easy thing to do and popular with some politicians especially when people believe they are being made safer with anti migrant rhetoric. Tomorrow I will comment on my visit to one of the camps where the migrants live or survive is a better description.
Meanwhile here is a lovely French volunteer wth his version of kindness in English and French.