Attached (below) please find the latest report from Calais, where several of us were working last week and at the foot of this post, a video from one of the Paris refugee support workers.
The next trip to Calais is the weekend of December 9th – 10th. Some people are going for both days with an overnight stay. Others may just go for Saturday 9th. If you are interested in going, please email back so we can sort out transport.
It would be good to take donations of goods and money, so more details to follow soon of fundraising schemes. (and yes, it does involve more Paddington Bear merchandise). If you’d like to donate clothes, shoes, sleeping bags etc, please refer to the Care4Calais items list at www.care4calais.org/donate.
Please forward this to anyone who may be interested. Thanks, all.
Care4Calais is operating at full tilt at the moment and also gearing up for winter, when conditions will be especially harsh. So three things:
Trip to Calais
We have volunteers going over to Calais on October 22nd and probably staying for the week. If you would like to come, please email me to arrange (or just to get further details). It’s likely we’ll have at least two cars going, so plenty of space.
Vans & Drivers
Care4Calais often needs drivers to take over larger donations. If you have a van, trailer or big car and would be prepared to do an occasional delivery run, please let me know and I’ll pass on your details. They would then contact you direct if a job comes up. No obligation, but it’s good to have as many potential vans as possible on the books.
Attached is the latest C4C wanted list. In October we can carry things over. Please stick to the list, however, as they don’t want things which can’t be used. Biggest priority of all at the moment is men’s waterproof coats. And of course money, which is used primarily for buying food and fuel for the vans, which are still going regularly to Dunkirk, Brussels and Paris as well as the Calais area. If you can donate anything, please let me know and we’ll collect.
‘Refugees are Welcome Here’ Newham Schools Competition 2017
• Competition to be run in schools [during Refugee Week or before]
• These entries to be judged in individual schools
Then, asap (Deadline 16h00 03/07/2017):
1st, 2nd & 3rd winners in each category entries to be sent / delivered to
Newham Teachers’ Association,
C/O Newham Town Hall,
• Entries to be judged by independent panel
• Schools to be informed by email of results by 9am Friday 7th July
• Winning children, families and teachers invited to prize-giving event
• Prize-giving event to be held week beginning Monday 12th July [final date & venue tbc] . This will begin at 5pm and last approximately an hour.
As a result of the ongoing refugee crisis, Newham Teachers’ Association has decided to continue to run our Refugee Week Schools Competition for 2017. Please ask your HT to confirm that your school will take part. Details for the competition are available to download from our website. A letter has been sent to all HTs.
Schools can run the competition during Refugee Week 2017, 19th – 25th June, as either a class or home activity. However it can be run at any time before this to suit your school diary and curriculum . The entries for each phase should be judged by the end of the end of the week, 26th – 30th June, and the winning entries sent to be considered in the Newham competition ASAP by 4pm on 4th July 2017.
A local prize giving event will take place at in July to which winners and their parents will be invited.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org , or ask your HT to use the form on the letter which has gone to all HTs.
As a result of the ongoing refugee crisis Newham Teachers’ Association has decided to run our Refugee Week Schools Competition for 2016.
This competition is also being rolled out nationally through the NUT so that competitors in local associations have the opportunity not only to win and attend a local prize – giving but also to compete nationally.
Your Head Teacher will have received a letter with a participation slip for completion and return to Newham Teachers’ Association.
We encourage you to take part in the event.
A Refugee Competition page has been created on our website. Details for the completion can be found there.
If more convenient all documents relating to the competition can be found here.
(Note: For LKS2 & UKS2 Word docs, download and open them with Word. Opening in Google Documents does not display Word formatting correctly. Those 2 docs are also in pdf for those that wish to view in Google Documents.)
*Convoy to Calais 23rd January 2016* On January 23rd another group from Newham crossed to Calais to deliver support to the refugees in The Jungle, this time including members of Newham Labour Party & Newham Pakistani Forum, Dost Young People’s Refugee Project (East Ham) and Newham Stand Up To Racism. As before we visited the Care4Calais warehouse from which aid goes into the camp and then went on to The Jungle itself where we helped with a food distribution. We also attended a demonstration by the refugees and French supporters. Some of us attended the press conference in the camp given by Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbot, who visited Calais and Dunkirk camps on Saturday. A large strip of The Jungle has been bulldozed flat, destroying all the tents and huts which were next to the motorway. The French authorities have provided shipping containers with bunks, though no cooking facilities, toilets or communal areas. Some refugees have moved into these. There is going to be space for 1500, which is about a quarter of those currently on site. Many more either can’t because there’s no space or won’t because it means much tighter control and the possibility of deportation. Workers were collecting rubbish in the camp – the result of a court ruling won by Doctors Without Borders which obliges the authorities to do this. The other big change seems to be a rise in the violence against the refugees. They talked about tear gas being fired regularly into the camp and incursions by the police and racists who attack them. Certainly the police presence was much higher: the motorway exit to the camp was sealed off and there were convoys of CRS riot squads moving around it. This time we took 930 euros to Care4Calais. The NUT rep at Woodbridge High School in Redbridge had produced a badge with the support of Redbridge NUT. This has the image of Paddington Bear, from a Bansky mural in the camp, with the slogan “Everyone Needs a Refuge”. Students and staff had raised 520 euros selling these. (Bulk orders are available!). A housing worker had collected £87 round her office and individual donations via SUTR came to 300 euros. See her post at www.facebook.com/lois.browne1/posts/10153402868742029 In terms of material, we took mostly winter clothes and blankets. Particular mention for these goes to Dost, the Wapping GP practice in Tower Hamlets and Elmhurst Primary School in Upton Park, as well as several families. We have some extra things, less suitable for Calais, which will be donated to the Renewal Programme’s Refugees and Migrants Project in Manor Park, which works with refugees here who have no access to state support. Thank you to all who came to Calais and to all who donated. Newham convoys have now taken over 6000 euros in cash plus ten car loads and a transit van of material donations. 48 people have visited the camp with us to do this. *The next convoy is in the February Half Term, from Saturday 13th onwards.* Please let me know if you’d like to come, or to donate money or goods. Drivers are especially welcome. ?
I visited the NUT Newham office where the Division Secretary gave me copies of two booklets that were produced as part of a competition the Division had run in previous years to mark Refugee Week.
I read the poems on the tube later that evening and was astounded by the quality of the poetry and the feelings that were portrayed by the children. I grew up in Belfast during the troubles and could relate to the fear and insecurity that is described.
I congratulate the Division, Newham Schools, the children and their teachers on such a wonderful initiative that allows the voices of the young to be heard so powerfully through the forum of poetry.