was meant to be in Italy right now, SURPRISE!
Yesterday I was in the camp, one of the other days, going to town to collect some money from Western Union for someone, go to check in online and get organised for leaving the Jungle for my first time in 4 months. I needed a break. Instead I have witnessed the biggest fight and fires in the camp.
It was around 4 PM when I was in my shelter and I have heard screams and noises outside. I climbed on the roof to check what was going on outside.
Big running around, big fight in front of the Sudanese tent (hosting 40 new arrivals). Groups of Afghani refugees were fighting and trying to get in the tent and fight the Sudanese. Not many people knew why this was happening. I tried to go and call the community leaders in different area of the Jungle. Everywhere I was going there was fighting, rocks being thrown landing on shelters. I managed to get out of the Jungle from the containers side where all the sudanese were and I encountered 3 police vans trying to get through camp. Apparently that s the place where the fight started.
There was a line for food inside one of the main places of the camp. One Eritrean and One Afghan started fighting and the Sudanese tried to stop the fight. He got stabbed in his stomach.
I do not want to give details or personal opinions on who was right who was wrong, who won who lost. Instead I am going to give you the numbers.
Fight kept going from 3PM to 11PM. 8 hours total.
49 refugees to hospital before 12AM.
5 volunteers from La Vie Active in hospital
2 police man in hospital
2 helicopters, 3 army trucks and around 50 CRS trucks
countless shelters being burnt
What was my job in all this?
a team of people and I, rescued one sudanese man being shot in the leg and sorted hospital trip for him.
Helped people being teargassed and being stabbed to get out of the fight.
I have rescued 7 sudanese man hiding in a shelter in an afghan area.
Collaborated with all volunteers to deliver aid and help to people.
I went to bed at 3 AM and decided I was not going to have my first break.
My thoughts are with my family as I have not being there for them. Now when they need the most I still have decided to stay here to support people that have lost everything and they are fighting to gain the last bit of dignity as human beings.
In the morning I had met 2 new volunteers. They came for the first time to assess the situation. He is a fireman in Spain and she is an aid worker. They asked me what are the needs of the Jungle. I said we need people on the ground at all time for emergency and maybe ambulance and fireman. They laughed. They asked me what were the main needs in terms of donations. I kept saying Fire extinguishers and car for ambulance runs.
That day I met them again. They were putting down fires with my friend Steve and others. I asked them again if that was enough assessment for the day and if my words were correct. I think they got the message.
I can only say now that I am going to try and help those people without a home and without money. Maybe I will start contributing financially to their needs, giving them whatever they have lost.
I went to see some of my Sudanese friends and made sure everyone was fine. I asked them if they needed anything.
They answered that they lost everything. what can they ask for?
Another group of Sudanese invited all volunteers (20 people) to have Zalabia. A typical dessert that they make only for celebrations. They were celebrating our work and help. They cooked on wood stove. They could not make Chai (tea) or Zenzebill (milk tea with ginger). Everything from Gas canisters, stoves, milk, sugar got stolen as they all left the Jungle during the fight.
I have no words from what happen yesterday and once again I cannot write too much in details as it could have consequences and affect people. I just wish all of you from home could do something and donate as much money and clothes now more than ever.
The warehouses are empty as everything is going to Greece. Here the situation is different. People here are stuck for 1 months to a year with an average of 6 months. Here people cannot move as their next step is across the sea. The cold North Sea.
PLEASE DO NOT FORGET ABOUT THEM. Only because this camp is not recognised as an emergency camp from the Governments it does not mean it doesn't exist!
THE JUNGLE IS MORE THAN REAL. PEOPLE ARE LIVING HERE.
DO NOT FORGET. DO SOMETHING.