By United Kingdom News Group (Originally in English)
For over a decade, thousands of people have been fleeing from North Africa and war-torn countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, and Eritrea and coming to Europe to seek refuge. In Calais, a port city in northern France and a ferry crossing point between France and England, approximately 6,000 people are staying in a series of makeshift refugee camps where living conditions are difficult as weather turns cold and rainy, and many residents are living in tents.
Remembering Master’s loving advice to always help disadvantaged individuals, our Association members in Surrey and London, United Kingdom formed a relief team and distributed approximately 800 food parcels containing rice, peanuts, beans, tomatoes, chickpeas, tea and coffee to the refugee camp in Calais on October 3, 2015. In addition, we contributed GBP 900 to the camp to assist with providing shelter for the refugees. We also volunteered to sort donated clothes and medical items in the warehouse, a few miles away from the camp, and had the opportunity to interact with other volunteers. There was a very large group from Ireland with two enormous trucks full of building materials for semi-permanent shelters, food, clothes, bicycles, and more. They came with 60 volunteers. There was also a large group of Muslim volunteers from Nuneaton, United Kingdom.
It is heartening to see volunteers from different regions working together to assist those in need. We wish that all refugees be blessed with God’s love to quickly find peaceful homes.
Helping Refugees in Calais, France, on November 14 to 15, 2015
Inspired by Master’s continuous care for the refugees and following Her loving instruction, our Association members from Surrey and London of United Kingdom once again traveled to the refugee camp in Calais, France in the early morning of November 14, 2015. We carried with us 200 food parcels, 216 fleece blankets, 500 emergency blankets, 55 pairs of waterproof walking boots, 500 hats, 500 pairs of gloves, 100 pairs of socks, 30 winter jackets and 60 fire extinguishers. These supplies were distributed to approximately 200 refugees who lost their possessions to a fire in the camp the evening before. The remaining supplies were given to other refugees who waited patiently in long queues. They were very happy and grateful.
In the afternoon, the rain started pouring with many refugees struggling to keep dry. We shared more tents with those in need. Before leaving, we contributed two large boxes of vegan pesto and EUR 785 to One Spirit Ashram Kitchen, a non-profit organization run by volunteers who distribute 400 to 1,000 vegan meals per day to the refugees. In addition, through the NGO “Are you Syrious?” we contributed 500 emergency blankets to Calais refugee camp and 3,500 to refugees in Croatia. We felt humbled and grateful to be able to serve God’s children.
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association for Refugee Aid in Calais, France, October 3 to November 15, 2015
|Cash contribution for providing shelters for the refugees||900.00||A|
|Food (rice, peanuts, beans, tomatoes, chickpeas, tea and coffee)||519.47||B|
|Food (biscuits, rice, instant noodles, tea bags, porridge and fruits), fire extinguishers, winter jackets, gloves, hats, socks, fleece blankets, waterproof boots and emergency blankets||7,764.54||C|
|Total|| GBP 9,184.01