16 December 2015
I have been chatting with friends about food.
Food is so important to us all, and just at the moment with this time of year when everyone goes into overdrive buying crazy amounts of food for the Christmas period I am thinking about food that is needed in the Jungle in CALAIS - I have just seen a wonderful little film made about the Ashram Kitchen in the Jungle and the need for good wholesome hot food - something we all at home take for GRANTED.....
Should we give more to people who need it and have no means of repaying - in my view yes of course, if we can.
Without hot food the residents in the Jungle would be lost.
It reminds me of 2 things - one is a man who wanted to start a restaurant where the customer paid what they thought the food was worth and any extra would go to feed the homeless - his friends told him he was crazy and he would lose money - everyone paid more than they needed to. But his real aim was to see if people would take advantage or would be generous - they were generous....is that surprising? I don’t think so, because I truly believe that basically people are kind and want to help but sometimes we get a little caught up in ourselves and forget.
the 2nd is this. .....I have worked in aid work for 10 busy years and I have never seen a movement of ordinary people moved to do something to help in the way I have with Calais and Lesbos. And this I mean, because there are no large NGO’s there, and after most natural disasters they are the first on the scene.
I THINK and I don’t know I am right but I think it is because the Government and politicians seem to have turned their heads away from the mess hoping it will go away and people - some of whom I have no doubt, have EVER volunteered to help other people in this way before, have been galvanised into action by the inaction of the authorities.
I would dearly love to do an audit to see just HOW many people - mostly from the Uk but also some from other European countries have put aside what they would normally do over the weekend - to collect shoes and jackets, set up crowd funding sites, hold fundraisers, collect food, sort clothing, box up socks and then drive to Calais and then volunteer to help cook distribute, clean or what ever is needed.
Some have dropped their ordinary lives to become long term-ers in the Jungle - it is and has been quite extraordinary, and the refugees lives have been made somewhat easier for this help - the living conditions are terrible - don’t misunderstand me, however, without the amount of food, clothing and sleeping bags that have been sent, their lot would be way worse in fact I hate to even think of it.
The man/woman hours given, the miles driven, the hugs and love delivered, the effort put in and the enormous amount of humility and determination distributed, by so many people with big hearts, is truly mind blowing, and I for one would like to thank everyone, but, everyone, who has put their little cog into the wheel that makes the camp what it is.
Now all we need to do is keep going until the powers that CAN - make the right decision as to what to do next.