You may have seen on the news recently that one of the camps in France, set up to house refugees fleeing war and unrest in their own countries, suffered a horrific fire – leaving many refugees in a desperate state. Fire broke out in the Grande Synthe camp destroying shelters and volunteer-run kitchens. The camp was home to 1,700 refugees – including 150 women and more than 200 children – who have fled bloodshed and oppression in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. While hundreds are being temporarily housed in nearby sports centres, the whereabouts of many others is unknown.
We have previously donated items to a charity CAMCrag – Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group. They are a registered charity (charity number 1170180). They are a group of volunteers who live in and around Cambridge working to help the refugees in Northern France and elsewhere. They send regular convoys to the camps and aim to raise awareness of the situation, fundraise and organise donations of clothing and other items. CAMCrag are spending £2,000 on emergency items including blankets, sleeping bags and food and are calling on supporters to put together emergency relief packs containing essential food and drink. These will be transported to aid workers on the ground in Dunkirk for distribution.
Lara Brettell, CamCRAG chair, said: “The scenes from the past few days have been heartbreaking. These people have already lost their homes and everything they own when they were forced to escape civil war and terrorism. Now they have lost everything again. It is almost unbelievable that this horrendous situation exists just 30 or 40 miles from the village greens and leafy suburban streets of Kent.”
The items required are:
- Small tins of fish (with ring-pull)
- Small bottles of water
- Small bars of chocolate
- Individual cartons of fruit juice
- Cereal bars
In order to help, we are collecting these items and will be putting packs together next Wednesday evening (26th April). They will then be taken to Cambridge the following weekend and will be transported to Dunkirk between the 5th and 7th May.
We have already received two very generous pledges from two of our suppliers to the Farm Shop and Gardeners Kitchen. Rainbow Wholefoods are donating all of the trail mix required for our target of 500 packs(!) and Canham Drinks are donating 250 bottles of water.
If you feel that you would like to donate items then please bring them along to Green Pastures and we will ensure that they are distributed to those in need.