Just got this message from Steve Garrett of Cultural Concerns in Cardiff:-
I’m back in Cardiff from Calais (Ben from Parsnipship that I went out with is back tomorrow) after some pretty knackering days working with many volunteers from all over Europe, chopping vegetables, washing up etc. and distributing food in the camps.
‘The Jungle’ camp is a muddy and depressing place, people living in tents and shacks, and because no one’s sure how long they’ll be there, some little shops and cafes have even sprung up… and two ramshackle churches.
Although we were doing ‘good work’ (probably served at least 1000 meals a day, mostly to young men) I felt angry and ashamed that UK government has spent millions building a high security fence around the port, but nothing to improve the terrible conditions for the desperate 6 thousand (maybe more, and more coming for sure) in the camp.
They head to the UK because, amongst other reasons, of our reputation for fairness and tolerance! Now people are feeling stuck in the camp, with hope (that essential quality of life) fading.
Will get together with Ben when he’s back for a debrief and to prepare a more detailed bulletin about the situation for people who are interested.
I also intend to lobby Welsh Government to take more of a stand (and more action) on this totally inhumane situation. Let me know if you’d like to be involved
These links to recent articles in The Guardian give an accurate picture of the situation in the Calais refugee camp.
The only difference is that the pictures in the photo essay were obviously taken in summer – imagine the same scenes ankle deep in mud under grey rainy skies to get a sense of what it looks like now.