Jude Monson went to volunteer ‘on the ground’ at the end of September 2015. Here are some of her notes from the ‘jungle’ in Calais.
Depart Inverness Thursday 4pm
Arrive at the Jungle 2pm Saturday
Met up with Iffy Patel who has been on the ground for a while…
Went for a walk around camp to meet folk…Met Sudanese group – they need big tents & tarps etc. Most groups have 15-20 males living communally, most of them arrive with nothing…I’m amazed at how these people share with one another and how little communities have grown.
New people are arriving every day – today lots of new Syrians arrived who had nothing but the clothes on their back.
The camp is made up of main streets with shops cafes and restaurants, saving amazing food and delicious tea. Everywhere you go people offer you tea and coffee.
The toilets are horrendous, sanitation on the camp just doesn’t exist. There are 4 or 5 taps that have no drainage and just leak everywhere, flooding the entire road…
There is a school with lots of art supplies and teachers. TEFL teachers are working to improve language. There are three laptops in library! Some books, but more would be good. Just got a new generator!
Big sturdy buildings are needed, little tents last less than a week.
First Aid caravan – 2 berth caravan with stuff just got dumped. We sorted and cleaned and set-up for use as triage…Massive amount of injuries, razor wire on hands, blisters, infections on feet, jumping,falling injuries: knees, ankles etc.
Most folk in the camp “have a train to catch”, most don’t intend to be there tomorrow.
The camp is split into little areas: little Syria, little Sudan, Afghan, Eritrea etc.
Sudan have the Scotland flag!
Distribution is a nightmare! Line; line: line what you need…Try to target new to camp.
Notes on the way home
- Camp expected to be at 10,000 by Christmas.
- What happens in January when everyone is cold, hungry, malnourished and weak?
- Need to get container load of pallets to Calais docks.
- Medical supplies.
- “Have faith”