Most of you I have been living in the Jungle for the past 4 months. Recently I have been extremely bad with keeping in touch or letting anyone know what is really going on.
Here my life is crazy. At the moment I have spent all the money I got together before coming to Calais on the 15th of January. In this four months I have had a single break of 4 days in total, showered once every 2 weeks at the volunteers house or in the hamam in my shelter, lived under 3 big heavy blankets, had all sorts of problem..from bed bugs, to rats, to people knocking at my door at 5 in the morning needing to go to hospital. I feel as if I cannot leave. There is so much going on every day.. People that get hurts trying, others that celebrate the arrival of some friends to UK.. And I am there, next to them, supporting them in the good and in the bad. I have become a sort of Psycotherapist in the camp. Refugees know me, they trust me and I have become a sister for few, best friend for many. It s now only 2 woman volunteers living on site, it is 6 of us on site at all time.
Last week I had finish my money. I arrived to 0 but my phone was broken so I could not communicate with my family. One of my two brother (Syrian) has gave me money to survive until I spoke to my dad which kindely has sent me some money. That day I decided that I was going to leave Calais as I am not earning while I have been here.
That same day I was walking back from a restaurant of the Jungle at night. It was nearly 1AM and I was tired but I was waiting for some friends to come back from town after talking to the smugglers. I wanted to make sure everything was fine. That day they were going to try... and they knew it was a 100% chance.
As I was walking back with my Syrian body guard, he saw a fire and we started running. While running I had my phone so I called my Syrian brother and told him to get the Fire Car (4X4 landrover being donated to the camp). I felt something was wrong.. much worse than just a standard Jungle fire. I arrived near the burning shelters but before arriving a man was being transported, wrapped up in blankets and carried by 20 people. He was inside a burning shelter asleep.
My bodyguard told me not to look. It was too late. I saw a man. Compleately burnt. Did not have eyes anymore because the plastic roof melted on his face. His feet were raw blood. People around me were screaming. Woman and man lying on the floor in panic crying and kicking. I was not in the Jungle anymore. I was not in Calais or in France or in Europe. I was in War and I was the only Volunteer in the place.
I called the 112 and they only spoke french, I managed to get out the message of a fire and an ambulance being needed. They understood. The Police was there and did not move a finger to help. They were in panic as well. I knew the ambulance was not going to come for a while. I called one other volunteer that I knew was in camp with a car. I told her to bring as many people as possible to help take down the fire and to come with a car as soon as possible.
The first car arrived in 2 minutes I called them. By then, the refugees were trying to get help from the police and it started getting roudy as the ambulance, or the fire man were not there. I asked the police to let the car through and I was going to take him to hospital. We did it. Everyone got together to put the 18een yo Ethiopian man in the back of the van, other 6 refugees jumped on in a space for 5 boxes. They were all in pain. That was the first run to hospital of the night.
We arrived in Hospital and everyone was in shock. No one could speak. Some of them came without shoes, one of them started throwing up as we were clearing the back of the van of all the covers. The police came and got my details, later on I was contacted by the head of the police. I gave my testimony.
That night I went back to the camp, back to the place where the fire was. Around 60 refugees gathered around me, asked me how their friend was and wanting to thank me to be there. One man stopped me to say thank you for saving someone's life. I kept telling him I did not do anything but organized the aid.
Us volunteers started working again. I went to my shelter and to other places in the camp to bring all the emergency tents and sleeping bags to the people without a house. 9 shelters, 45 people without a place to sleep. Everyone was in shock and were not able to come and get the aid. We made sure everyone was ok for the night and went back to our places.
I went back to my 2 Syrians brother's shelter. They were worried about me. I was about them.
We all looked at each other and we all agreed that the fire was a sign for all three of us. We cannot leave the Jungle just yet. We have too much responsibilities to be able to leave.
I decided to stay. Now I need your help as I wish to continue helping people with their daily struggles and to support them in their fight.
This is only one of the many stories I could write about (But I cannot for security reasons).
Every little help will be used to sustain myself, fix my phone, and if I manage to reach more than 500 Euros I will use the money to get aid to the kids. There is now less supply of clothes, nappies, baby bottles and toddlers stuff as now everym aid is going to Greece. I will go to the shop and buy myself anything that is needed in a still very poor and difficult place.
I wish I could say more about my experience, work and responsabilities in the jungle refugee camp of Calais, but as most of you know, I will tell you the stories over a cup of coffee when I get back!
Thanks for reading and for donating!!!
I will try my best to write as many stories from the Jungle and keep you updated with my life as a 'syrian adopted refugee'.