Helping Refugees in Calais and Dunkirk

By Spider Davila

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Service in Calais

This past summer I spent a few weeks in Calais, France cooking at Refugee Community Kitchen. I also had the chance to go out with Youth Refugee Service and spend time and play with some of the kids. This was, by far, my most important stop in a summer of travels.

I met kids with arms and legs broken and faces blistered from pepper spray by the French national police (CRS). I heard first hand what it is like to live as an asylum seeker in Calais. The local and national governments ignore the humanitarian crisis and actively discourage refugees through violence and by destroying bedding and tents. 60% of these refugees are children.

Without charity assistance most would be with out food, water, showers, warm clothing, bedding, etc.

I promised I'd do everything I could to return.

Helping through the bleak of winter

During the summer, there is an influx of students and travelers volunteering and helping out in Calais. In the winter, we serve just as many meals with way fewer volunteers.

To make matters worse, the refugee crisis continues to slip from the news and donations slack when we need them more than ever.

Through it all, volunteers are there.

Despite the lack of support from local and federal government, RCK put out 1800 meals a day, rain or shine, 365 days a year. That's a hot lunch and dinner for folks without a lot of options.

Refugee Youth Service is there doing outreach, providing an outlet for kids that no longer have access to school. They provide some lightness to a difficult way of existing. RYS also looks out for the children that may not have anyone to watch out for their interests.

How you can help

I'm raising $730 (£500) for my travel to and from Calais. Anything over that will be split between Refugee Community Kitchen and Refugee Youth Service.

UPDATE: My first goal of covering my air and coach fare has been surpassed! All funds donated now will go directly to Refugee Community Kitchen. Thank you!

RCK needs new shelving, new work benches. We always needs donations for food. 1800 meals is 300lbs (150kg) of onions a day, 360lbs (180kg) of rice, 16lbs (8kg) of spice/pepper, just to name a few items. It is a massive undertaking that happens every day.

RYS is always in need of art supplies, sporting equipment and contributions to top-up mobile phones. Phones are the lifeline to children seperated from their families.

Anything helps, $5, £5, €5, to whatever you feel you can afford.

Thanks, again.



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Team Members

Spider Davila

Bex Ryan

Flora Grubb

Marcia Gagliardi