Please donate to the Herbalists without Borders Winter Calais Campaign!
The need: We are witnessing a mass movement of displaced people that is unprecedented in our lifetime. Towns and cities in Northern France and Belgium are the frontlines for those seeking to find asylum or a new life in the UK. After evictions of the Jungle in Calais and camp at Dunkirk in 2016 and 17, people are now mainly living in woods and around industrial estates at the edges of the two towns.
As you would expect for people living in damp, cold, unsanitary conditions, mundane minor health issues – scratches, bites, blisters, burns, become infected and progress to more serious issues. People are suffering from coughs, colds, flu and other respiratory illnesses. Toothache, headache, allergies. Bruises and sprains from running for and falling off trucks. Bruises from beatings from French CRS. Sicknesses incurred from spending time in a refrigerated lorry, or a sinking dingy; or from trying to swim the channel.
Refugees are theoretically able to access emergency medical services and a free clinic in France - but they often don’t know the processes or locations of these services.
What we do: Herbalists without Borders UK visit Calais and Dunkirk every month with our mobile clinic to offer preventative medicine, self-care support, first aid and healthcare access support to hundreds of refugees and undocumented migrants living in the region.
We are a grassroots group made up entirely of volunteers. We are first aiders, medics and herbalists. We are asking for financial support for our Winter Calais Campaign.
The money will be used for:
- Buying ingredients for herbal medicines - eg soothing cough syrups, anti-viral chest rubs, bruise ointments, skin creams, mouthwash and antimicrobial vinegars. The quality of medicines is extremely important and non-negotiable for us.
- Disposable packaging and clear branding (eg translated labels) of our medicines so they are safe and empowering
- Quality first aid materials such as gloves, plasters, dressings and bandages which we use constantly.
- Ferry costs
- Petrol costs
- Printing of leaflets that we can distribute referring people to other services and translating care advice in different languages
- Lemons, garlic and ginger in large quantities to distribute
We operate on a shoestring budget with each trip costing approximately £600. This crowdfunder will get us through the winter. We are trying to reduce our costs by organising a grassroots medicine making campaign and by asking generous people to donate supplies that we need.
Our experience is that herbal medicine has a specific and unique contribution to the field context in Calais and Dunkirk, especially in relation to respiratory viral illness and some digestive and skin problems. Consistent feedback from refugee communities is that our remedies make a big difference. People appreciate the symptomatic relief, the familiarity and the comfort they provide.
Please donate to this important work. Thank you for your solidarity!