Events over the last two months in Calais and further afield have left us appalled. Hearing about the conditions in The Jungle as winter approaches and then seeing the streams of refugees heading to Europe has spurred many of us on to do all we can to help these individuals and families, stepping in where our elected governments won’t.
Helping individuals to network and share experiences is a crucial part of any grassroots movement, so we set the Facebook group France and Beyond up to help facilitate this communication.
Gathering over 1,000 members in under a week, the group proved straight away that while there are some very vocal anti-refugee elements, there is also a much larger silent majority made up of compassionate people who want to help.
Bringing these individuals together has already made a real difference to the lives of refugees in Calais, Bordeaux and Toulouse.
Our teams of volunteers are collecting across France, sorting, transporting and delivering aid directly to refugees, plus we’re linking with other similar groups to ensure our activity is as structured, efficient and cohesive as possible.
In addition to collecting and distributing aid in France, we are donating to camps in Iraq, as well as to grassroots movements in countries from Greece to Croatia, and promoting the work of amazing organisations such as MOAS.
This website forms a vital step in our communication, providing a link to individuals who do not use Facebook, as well as providing a platform through which to easily share quality, fact-based information. Our thanks go to the dedicated team of volunteers who have made it all possible in such a short space of time.
We may not be able to stop wars or solve political unrest, but – together – we can play a small but significant role in helping to ease one of the most challenging humanitarian catastrophes of our time.