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At the end of October we returned to Calais for another four days to run voluntary refugee clinics. This would be my second trip with The Foot Project and would turn out to be quite different to the first. 

In the weeks leading up to our trip there was the constant threat of ‘The Jungle’ camp being closed and destroyed. Around a week before we were due to travel the demolition started, with the First Aid caravans being one of the first areas to be removed. The shambolic demolition of the camp and relocation of the migrants continued through the week and with this in mind we were advised by other charities not to travel. We had already booked travel and accommodation using the generous donations from our supporters though, so did not want this to go to waste. 

We had a re-think and contacted another, smaller refugee camp at Grande-Synthe, Dunkirk. Although this was a smaller camp - intended for 300 refugees but currently housing around 1000 - it is an official camp, so more strictly controlled than ‘The Jungle’. We managed to register with the Town Hall as official volunteers just in time, and travelled as planned. 

With the last minute change of location, we were prepared to help out however we could, whether medical or not. Frustratingly, there was a large medical centre, but nobody seemed to know how to access it, commenting that there were once a couple of dentists there, but nobody had used it for some time. The boys set about chopping wood to fuel the main kitchen and smaller community kitchens, while the girls searched out the Women and Children’s centre. 

We were quite happy with chopping wood and helping out wherever we could, knowing that we were at least helping in some way. The girls however were inundated with patients in the Women and Children’s centre - treating more people than ever before, who were all very grateful to see them! 

It seems likely given recent events that this will be our last trip to Calais. We have however already planned our next Foot Project trip - we will be travelling to Greece after Christmas for ten days to run voluntary clinics at six refugee camps. 

Given the hugely increased travel and accommodation costs involved in getting us to Greece and making a worthwhile contribution to the six camps on Lesbos, we desperately need your help to raise money to make it happen. Any donations, however small, are hugely appreciated, as is liking, commenting on and sharing our posts and fundraising ideas on social media to help us spread the word. Thank you for all of your kind support so far - it wouldn’t be possible without you! 

                     http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/FootProject-Greece
 


Comments

08/12/2016 1:05pm

This is great! I am thankful that your project exists to help these people in need. The world needs more people like you who are compassionate and empathetic. The effort you put in this advocacy says a lot about yourselves and I think that’s something we should look up to. I hope many will come to you and donate as much as they can so you can bring about the programs you plan for these people. If I can provide for myself already, I wanna be part of this advocacy too.

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I also admire their advocacy. When I get to work already and become stable, I am willing to volunteer. I like the feeling it brings. A little alms you give can bring so much joy to that someone and the moments and experience it gives you is very priceless. How I wish your organization will continue and become sustainable. Thank you for all of you may the almighty God bless all of you always.

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What trips are you planning this year? Can I join you? I want to help you so much!

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