I am raising funds to pay for shelters to be built for the refugee camp at Calais. My friend Rachel Mantell is involved in one of the associations on the ground in Calais, trying to support the refugees any way they can, from providing clothing and medical care to handing out food parcels, and, of course, trying to set up shelters. I have known her 20 years and trust her to get the best possible for the refugees with this money.
Winter has started to bite and the refugees, having fled their bombed out and war-torn countries now face the grim prospect of a winter camping on an exposed sand dune by the sea, with a reasonable chance of casualties due to exposure. Tents are useless in these conditions, and regularly blow away, or are burnt down in the frequent catastrophic fires. In the absence of heat or light, refugees use candles and open fires, with predictable, devastating results
Local teams 'flat pack' the shelters in a warehouse in Calais to a tried and tested design. I have offered some of my architectural expertise to improve insulation and fire safety, but the basic design is solid and warm. The local associations identify people most in need of shelter (families, unaccompanied children, the elderly and the sick) and get them moved in. These shelters will help them survive the winner and help to replace the tents lost every week to fires. Each shelter costs approximately €100 each, but the more ordered in one go the lower the price per unit. The only thing preventing the teams from building more is lack of funds.
Please feel free to donate any amount you wish and knowing that the money is directly supporting the people who need help; this project is entirely run by volunteers with MSF (Doctors without Borders) advising them.
Time is not on the refugees' side so I've set 2 weeks to reach the total, although the account will still accept donations if the date and limit are exceeded (they will be needed)
Many thanks and I wish you all a very merry Christmas and prosperous new year.