Sunday, 24 January 2016

Calais - The 'Jungle'

What a mess! So many living in dire conditions. Such a mixture of nationalities, cultures, languages, men, women (some pregnant), children with parents or relatives and some who are alone. Like all communities there are the blaggers and the criminals but the vast majority are good and decent people who are fleeing conflict or desperate circumstances. Mud, cold, rain and fierce wind in the dunes on the outskirts of Calais, the ‘Jungle’, surrounded by what seems to be a huge contingent of some unhappy CRS police who have been landed the task of containing the situation. Also an army of volunteers supplying urgent humanitarian relief, made up of a hugely disparate group of people of all ages and backgrounds with a common cause. All, I think, with good, compassionate and giving hearts, some na├»ve, some more realistic but all just trying make a positive difference to those in need. It is with a feeling of impotence, though, that it is just a sticking plaster (an essential sticking plaster) on such an impossible situation. The reality, as I see it, is an enormous group of tired, anxious and desperate people corralled and contained in a place, albeit better than from where most have come, with no apparent solution in sight. The whole issue, as in the places where the refugees have come from, is a mess. It is hugely complicated and needs so desperately to have those who are in a position to be able to make a difference to quickly, with some understanding of the different cultures and needs, formulate a humanitarian plan that will at least care for the most vulnerable. To understand the whole situation is virtually impossible and to find a solution that will suit all is, I feel, sadly likewise.

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