Refugees are people like you and me. They are currently living in tents in sub-zero temperatures in ankle deep mud. They have fled their countries because of ISIS, bombings, war, starvation, political or religious persecution. I have spent time with many and heard their stories. Scroll down my profile on Facebook to read reports of when I've been out there and stories of individuals living in the camps. My next visits will be 21/22 and 28/29 January, with regular trips happening each month.
The plan is to raise funds and be able to respond immediately to the needs of refugees, particularly over the harshest winter months. Also, I would like to be able to provide respite for families and individuals as well as being able to provide for potential longer term volunteers to be able to go and help in Calais and Dunkerque. The big vision is to rent a property, fill it with volunteers, including French speakers, use it as a place of respite for refugees, make sure there is transport, be the hands and feet to help the refugees with what they are unable to do or access.
If I were a refugee, I would be asking these questions:
Where are the people who care?
Where are the people who not only give me the essentials to stay alive, but take time to talk with me, drink tea, come back tomorrow, the next day, maybe next week, who like me and want to be with me?
Where are those that want to build relationship?
Where are those who can support me and help me chat through major decisions because maybe I want to change my plan but don't know what the options are or how I go about it?
Who can defend me, be on my side?
It's asking a lot, but it's not really asking more than you would expect on a daily basis.
Each life is precious. Each life is valuable.
Stopping for the one person can change their life that one minute, one hour, one day.One smile can bring hope into a place of hopelessness and desperation.