This is a little bit about my experience leading up to visiting The Jungle in Calais on 9th and 10th October 2015. I plan to go out again as soon as I am able.
This is my opinion and my views. I do not claim to represent anything or anyone.
any images in this blog I had permission for every picture I took of
refugees 'posing' for me and in the instances where I could not seek
permission, i.e. during our food distribution the faces of people have
been obscured out of respect.
6 weeks ago ...
September 3rd 2015
woke with a start. Checked the time, 4.30am - why always 4.30am?? It's
nothing out of the ordinary for me to frequent this no-mans-land hour,
which is neither night or day, but today I woke with an uneasy urgency,
it felt like I was suffocating. My heart was pounding and I felt
My restless mind quickly wandered to
the image of little Aylan; that tiny Syrian boy washed up on the beach
in Turkey, lifeless. Tears immediate sprang from my eyes and coursed
down into my ears, making the sounds around me appear under water, which
just compounded the tragedy all the more.
thoughts must have been going through his tiny infant mind? His poor
mother and brother also lost to the waves, what must his Mother's last
thoughts and sights have been?? All incomprehensible. As a mother
myself my train of thought running down this track was just too painful
to pursue and a sob caught in my throat. I slid out of bed; it was
simply too painful to continue laying there with those horrific visions
playing a silent movie over and over in my head.
was beginning to break; I always love this time of year, just on the
cusp of Autumn with the azure skies and still warm days. It felt good to
be up at this hour, being able to enjoy the sunrise from the safety and
comfort of my home, with my beautiful family innocently sleeping in
their warm, comfortable beds above. I felt an overwhelming sense of
gratitude that I had been born in a safe country and had been able to
raise my family without threat of bombs and fear of sniper fire. Any
twist of fate and things could have very easily been so different.
fired up the laptop with the intention of getting on with some work
but, as always, was drawn to social media for ‘just a quick check to see
what’s been going on ...’ !
Scrolling through posts I
felt empty; I got mad at people moaning about mundane ‘issues’ - which
"celebrity" was evicted last night from this or that poor excuse for an
'entertainment' programme and all the while the vision of that little
boy 'sleeping' with his tiny head in the waves haunted me.
I jabbed at the keyboard – and updated my Facebook status:-
I just can't sit and watch / read / try and comprehend any more of this Refugee crisis news without doing something to help.
am collecting donations of the items listed below [the latest list of
most needed items in Calais was posted] to deliver to the camp in Calais
If you have any of these items or can make up a care
package of simple toiletries - please let me have them by 30th
September so that I can get them ready for delivery - thank for wanting
to help too ...
I snapped the laptop lid shut and I
sat back. I was doing something positive, albeit a small something, to
help these poor human beings in 'the jungle' in Calais.
Within a few hours I had family and a couple of friends contacting me asking where and when they could delivery donations.
signing up to Calais Migrant Solidarity Action From UK and announcing
myself as a collector in the High Wycombe area I had loads of complete
strangers contacting me too, which was amazing.
My 'journey' had begun.