Refugee crisis has inspired generosity

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Things have moved on a long way since August, when we publicised the collaborative outreach work for the Calais migrants on both sides of the Channel.  Early on in this crisis Westminster Justice and Peace was contacted by Marian Hopkins of Our Lady and St Vincent Parish Potters Bar, who asked how one might send funds.  No easy mechanism existed then, and we phoned Secours Catholique (Caritas France) in Calais for bank details.  Marian pursued the matter, and 5 weeks later she has told us that her parish has raised £4,233.76 in a collection for Calais migrants, and the money has been transferred to Secours Catholique!  Please email us if you want to raise money for this appeal and need assistance on international bank transfers.

Congratulations to Marian and all the parishioners of Potters Bar! Continue reading

Day Trip to Calais (Refugee Camp)

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Under the flyover of the road leading from the exit of the Channel port were a huddle of lightweight tents, the portable kind you might put up on a beach or carry on a walking trip. These are the latest arrivals at the Jungle, the shanty town housing 3000+ refugees hoping to cross to England. I had arrived for a Welcome to Refugees rally, where there would be an agreement of solidarity signed between English and French bishops to support and welcome these unwanted guests of Calais town. Continue reading

What they found in Calais: Paris students are inspired by shanty town

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CALAIS A young person’s experience – Summer 2015 (account circulated by Secours Catholique Emergency Services)

When we approached Secours Catholique to take part in the ‘Youth Solidarity Summer’, we didn’t know what to expect. We gathered some shreds of information from the media, but nothing precise. Despite this vague solidarity, we decided to take part in the project because we knew that it would be beneficial not only from the humanitarian viewpoint but would make links. In fact, with Manon who also left for Calais, we have created a solidarity group at the Sorbonne, called ‘You Are’. So we made up our minds with great enthusiasm to set off for Calais in the You Are spirit, in partnership with Secours Catholique. Continue reading