Can you tell us a little bit more about Calais Action?
Calais Action was founded by Libby Freeman in July 2015 and quickly formed a core team who still all operate today.
We have funded many projects including a food van for Northern France, a safe space tent, cinema, van and cafe in Greece, collaborations with the jungle cafe in Calais, collaboration with phone credit for refugees and much, much more.
We have shipped distributed aid to Hungary, Greece and France.
How did you start the organisation? What is the story?
Our founder Libby Freeman decided to visit the camp in Calais in the summer of 2015, she appeared in The Guardian and from there created a following of supporters who wanted to help. On her return she set up a Facebook page and a nation wide convoy was organised.
You posted on your facebook page about a project with children in a refugee camp in Greece. How did the project go?
I believe this was last year when our representative was out in Samos, along with the projects we have out there she lead art projects with the children which was very exciting for them. It brings normality to their lives and allows them to be children for that moment.
Why do you think it’s important to help and welcome refugees?
It’s all about humanity, every human on this earth is entitled to the basic human rights, they are entitled to warmth, food, water and basically they are entitled to live. The governments across Europe are not honouring their responsibilities.
Immigration is a wonderful thing, there is proof all around us to show how the economy grows due to immigration.
Many refugees want to go home and aren’t looking for a permanent home in Europe, only a safe place until their home is safe. This is not a lot to ask.
It’s about humanity.
What collaborations can we support and how can we help?
There are many projects you can support here are the links:
Children and adults alike urgently need phone credit – please text our hotline 70070 with ref CALA85 and the amount you want to donate. Please note that £10 is the maximum donation for one single text.
Our project is almost up and running and will soon be supplying hot food to displaced persons around northern France https://mydonate.bt.com/events/mobilefood
Samos Divers is the only volunteer organisation in Samos that operates in and out of the water, on the boat, the rocks, the surface and underwater. https://mydonate.bt.com/events/sda
**LGBT SUPPORT FOR REFUGEES**
Calais Action are very proud to Support the LGBT support group for refugees.
There is a list of aid that needs to be bought regularly, we need your help to support refugees in Paris.
#TrollAid Fundraiser – Support us in turning hate into love! If you see trolls on any page either Twitter or Facebook (doesn’t have to be Calais Action) just simply reply to them using this link -https://mydonate.bt.com/events/trollaid and #TrollAid. People can then donate money in their name and you can see how much money that particular troll has raised! Maybe give them a little thank you too!
What is your message for people in 2017?
Don’t be numbed to what is happening, the situation across Europe is just as tragic as it was in 2015. People are still crossing dangerous waters to seek safety, children are still being exploited, people are still sleeping on the streets in terrible conditions without the basics. Do something. Even if it’s just sharing posts to get messages across or to donate £10. You could volunteer for a day, a week, a month or a year all are just as valid and appreciated. We still need a lot of help.
To contact Calais Action please see their facebook page here