Wednesday, 12 August 2015

2ND UPDATE FROM CALAIS. by Matthew Wright on Facebook: August 12th

It was a different type of day today than yesterday, and thank goodness as I couldn't have physically coped with that level of intensity two days on the trot. This is a lengthier post than yesterday and I've made bold the keyword phrases. Anyway, today: Firstly, FRANCOIS (from the Calais migrant aid group L'AUBERGE DES MIGRANTS) and I picked up food donations and put them in the warehouse, so the team could sort and pack the tins and packets etc for distribution at the Jungle on Saturday.

We then drove out of town to collect a load of wood for the migrants to use as COOKING FUEL. Wood is not an efficient cooking fuel used on an open fire and it takes tons of wood to supply everyone with sufficient wood fuel. The advice from on the ground is that the large LPG GAS RING BURNER IRON STOVES ARE NEEDED. These burners are fed by LPG GAS. Once we loaded the van we drove back to the town and drove around the Jungle and distributed the wood. Maya Konforti (also part of l'auberge des migrants) was in the camp this afternoon. Maya is in the camp almost everyday, working with the migrants. She was posted on the main path junction in the Jungle and talking to existing "residents" and new migrant arrivals: we gave out some SLEEPING BAGS to new arrivals and TRAINERS to a poor man who had flip flop slippers falling apart off his feet (size 46). A lot of the guys have flip flop type footwear, which in the summer is ok, but in the wet and cold they are much less appropiate, so more FOOTWEAR IS NEEDED. Like many young men in the UK, the guys here are not used to wearing hard shoes or boots so TRAINERS are ideal SIZE 39 - 46 (UK size 8 to 12).

It was so windy today and while sunny, the cold wind off the sea made the day feel quite chilly and the weather is only going to get colder and wetter as Autumn arrives in a week or so, quickly followed soon after by WINTER which will fall with a vengeance on the migrants in the camp. Accordingly, lots more SLEEPING BAGS ARE NEEDED. Maya told me today that she has witnessed awful nights, so cold and horrible that you see the migrants huddled all night around small fires, trying to keep warm, singing together to keep morale up to get through the night. Many of the shelters are not adequate to keep out the cold. Consequently, TENTS, TENTS, TENTS are needed. ADVISORY NOTICE: festival type tents fall apart in the wind and provide little or no protection against the chilly weather. The guys form bonds with fellow countrymen and live, eat and sleep together: safety in numbers. As such THREE/FOUR PERSON TENTS ARE NEEDED.

I hope this is a useful update for those of you organising the collection of donations for the migrants. I will do a separate post with regards to food items.

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