Hey! it's Noha!
In June 2016 I began fundraising to volunteer in a refugee camp known known as 'The Jungle' located only 2 hours away from the UK (from Dover). I initially planned to stay for a month then return to the UK and fundraise for a 3 month trip to Burkina Faso in Africa with ICS. During that month A LOT happened, I gained more experience, gained more responsibilities and also realised how uncertain life in the camp is (rumors of demolishing the camp forever arising). I found that after a month instead of feeling like I had done my bit and was ready to go, I was actually the opposite. I had responsibilities I couldn't just let go of, and the uncertainty made me want to stay even more, just incase something happened, I wanted to be there to help, the idea of leaving seemed insane. So, the money I had raised for ICS (30 euros from doing henna) along side with the money I will raise from this campaign is what I will use to fund myself, because I made the executive decision to remain in Calais for as long as funds allow me to.
The money I will raise will go towards funding me, and any extra will go to Care4Calais the amazing charity I've been working with (below is an outline of the work I've been doing the past month and what I will continue to do over the next few months). Care4Calais kindly offer longterm volunteers accommodation at 7Euros a night, and also provide all volunteers with a delicious lunch everyday, meaning I will only need 4euros for food everyday, this brings me to a monthly minimum goal of 330 as I really hope to raise more to be donated to Care4Calais who are also desperate for donations right now! So, Any donations are welcome, even 1euro will be more than appreciated, it all adds up!, if everyone person on my friends list donated 1euro, I'd have 600 euros, so really, 1euro can go very very far, thats not to discourage anyone from donating 100euros, please, be my guest!!!
In the past month I've participated in a number of jobs:
Art English and French:
In my first 3 weeks I was leading the Art, English and French teams most days. This would require taking a team of 10 to 15 people to camp and setting up small art or language sessions which where extremely appreciated by residents in camp, as life can be quite tedious and isolating so these sessions added some normality to their days.
This was surprisingly one of my favourite jobs, for some odd reason taking a team of 8-10 people to pick up trash at 10am satisfied more than you can imagine. Litter picking is actually very important, as the litter can attract things lick rats and so the litter picking can help reduce the presence of rats making life in camp a little more bareable.
Over a month ago we carried out a survey to ask residents in the camp what they thought of the way C4C carries out it's distributions. The results showed that people would prefer a ticketing system, so now everyday from 2-6 5 different teams with assigned areas, go from shelter to shelter giving out tickets. My language skills have been really useful with dealing with misunderstandings that have occurred due to the change in the distribution system!
Every morning all Care4Calais volunteers work in the warehouse, sometimes, I lead a team doing a primary sort and sometimes participate in packing the bags according to the tickets that were given out the day before. I have had the pleasure of leading the most wonderful teams in the warehouse and in camp! and I really hope I can continue my work with your help!
Every Thursday I work at the Coordination Office, which is a place that provides advice and answers enquiries of anyone who is new to the camp, this could be a new arriving refugee or a lost volunteer. To work here it is require you speak arabic which is important when communicating with refugees who don't speak english and need help.
this is just a brief explanation of some of the work I've been part of at Care4Calais! I really am so grateful to be working with such an amazing charity! So Please Donate what you can and help us bring aid to refugees who really need it!
- Noha Al- Maghafi