What has gone on since the last newsletter?

In spite of public perception, the refugee camps in Calais and Dunkirk are once again swelling in numbers. After the demolition of parts of the camps in February and March, there are now 50 to a 100 people arriving daily. The graph below will show this trend:

Further interesting figures emerge when looking at the demographics. If one thing, we are confronted with an ongoing crisis, which continues to remain unaddressed by the authorities. Like in the past, it is up to individuals and organisations to make a difference and provide basic humanitarian conditions for these people arriving in the camps. Of course, the persisting plight of the children remains something of special concern. Our efforts will focus particularly on this group.


JCRAG’s approach remains two-fold:

  1. We will continue to deliver emergency aid, addressing some of the most urgent needs highlighted by volunteers on the ground, with a special focus on the children of Calais. Most of the funds will be directed towards that end.

We have been on at least one aid-trip every month in 2016 to help out in the warehouse and to contribute to the efforts of Help Refugees and l’Auberge des Migrants.

We are always looking for people to join us on these trips, so do come forward to volunteer!

FUNDED INITIATIVE:

In March we funded the following initiative:
Kernow Aid Now is a venture of Project Paul CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise.  Since Jan 2016 we have supported a number of activities helping refugees, most notably in producing the double decker bus used by the Unofficial Women’s and Children’s Centre in the Jungle Calais.  

A few weeks ago we were asked to look at the caravans currently used by the First Aid and Care Support Teams.  The vans have clearly ‘served their time’ and are no longer fit for purpose and the rigours of high volume custom as they help many, many refugees on a daily basis.  

We’ve sourced a more robust mobile unit and thanks to the Jersey Calais Refugee Aid Group who kickstarted the project with £2k (and some other kind donors and sponsored 10k runners !) we now have conversion of the unit well under way.  This fundraiser is to gain the remaining money to fit heavy duty flooring, equip with solar lighting , add running water and create an appropriate environment for consultations and first aid care. 

  1. On the other hand, we will continue to sponsor and encourage longer-term educational projects like the School Bus Project. We have sponsored them and helped them develop their thinking about providing mobile educational units that can operate in numerous camps throughout Northern France. This project will be up and running in Calais by the middle of June.
  2. We are looking for specific expertise in the camps. Please let us know if you can offer your time!

Check out more info on: http://www.calaidipedia.co.uk/breaking-news

EVENTS THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE:
  1. Requiem for the American Dream – A film featuring Noam Chomsky at the Arts Centre on the 29th of April. – This was a night of reflection and discussion to raise awareness and of course necessary funding.
  2. On the 14th of May, JCRAG organised a BBQ, raffle and quiz at St. Brelade’s College with the proceeds raised being put to educational purposes focused on the School Bus Project. This was a well-attended and highly successful event, again raising both funds and awareness towards our charity’s goals.
Mr. Amir Marreakhy asylum case is pending. JCRAG hopes for the best possible outcome while it continues to offer him support and assistance.

AGENDA

20 -26 June – National Refugee Week:
Jersey is a part of this initiative and JCRAG will be organising an evening of music and refugee stories at the Troubadour on the 24th of June. (date TBC)
                 
9th of July – Beach clean on Portelet Beach

10th of July – Portelet Beach fundraising event. Activities will include:

  • Linnea Larrson YOGA session
  • Jersey Festival of Words mobile storytelling for kids  2-4pm
  • Ian Rolls stone workshop
  • Love Theatre workshop with Michele
  • Facepainting, Tambouli, beach cricket, Rangoli,  kites etc…
  • Exhibition of David Ferguson photos (from Jordanian refugee camp) in a Yurt.
  • Presentation by St. Michael’s pupil/photos
  • Raffle with numerous fantastic prizes and a first prize of 2 festival tickets to Bestival!!!!

There will be dinner in the Portelet Beach Café. Book your tables for £10.

Get Involved
There are three areas in which you can get involved with the JCRAG efforts:
1)   Organize fundraising and feed back to us. We will always be able to back you up or get other volunteers to help. (we will send out a fundraising-pack next week)
2)   Join a team and travel to Calais to help out in the L’Auberge des Migrants warehouse.
3)   Get involved in the School Bus Project. We will have oppurtunities for teachers, training, skill share. register your interest, more details to follow.