Calais Day Three

Interesting karma..

Another day with another day of work, another day of helping.

Volunteering has always been a huge passion of mine for years. It is something that I consider a great aspect in my life. This evening I had an opportunity to go and speak with some of the volunteers working at the warehouse, it was interesting to see others with the same determination as myself. 

I was speaking to one of the 'experts' as we call it (volunteers who have been at the warehouse for over a week), and he spoke to me on issues that affected him, and why he came to volunteer. It is perceived to be that people chose to do this for a few reasons:
A passionate volunteer

1) They have had a difficult past, and think this is the best way to remove the past they've had and to rectify the future.

2) They have had a very fortunate past, and this is how they are returning the favour.

3) They believe they can be the change, and are fed up of what is seen in the media without anything being done.

All reasons above are equally admirable, and every volunteer there, no matter what the timescale is, all have given up their time to help. This man who sat there and revealed parts of his life he hasn't shared with people was a touching moment, I was honoured to be there for him. It is upsetting to know that these people will come into your life in an instance, you hit it off with something you both care so deeply about, then in a few days you will most likely never see that person again even if they have affected your life immensely.
Talking to volunteers

That evening was also one of the most challenging for myself and my colleague (friend technically but we work as colleagues), whilst our evening was coming to an end she was met with a refugee, who told us his life story, opened up to us in ways that were scarcely believable;

'I am from Afghanistan, I am so lucky to have a family too look after me, but I am destined to this life, this is what life has dealt me.' 

Clinging onto his Afghanistan necklace, the man sat across the table from us, homeless,hungry and cold, refused to take anything from us, any help. Rather he just kept repeating, I am so ashamed, I am so ashamed. The words stung with every repeat. This man, this grown adult who was trying to find his family again with no means of communication that we take for granted, cried with two strangers because he genuinely felt as if he deserved this hand. The disgust we both had over this, the fact we have, as a world, caused people to believe they deserve the bombings, the migration, the terrible hardship, made us sick to our stomach. There is absolutely no excuse for it. If we can grow up being taught to think about others, at what point do we change our minds? When do we join the millions just living for their materialistic lifestyles??
In warehouse 2

Earlier in the evening we spoke to another volunteer who fell on some tough times within the Dunkirk camp. Unfortunately the government is attempting to close down the camp, which a final decision is to be made in March. For now however volunteers are trying to support the thousands of refugees struggling in tents  and shelters. This particular volunteer was attempting to place plastic sheets in the pouring rain to try to help the families get cover, to which they were incredible grateful for. It was during this, whilst he was trying to cover a mother and two young, very wet children, a Frenchman rocked up and started tearing the plastic down, exclaiming that it was a fire-risk. This volunteer witnessed a mother begging a man for the health of her children to please let the plastic stay. To which he didn't comply. The volunteer stood there, completely helpless in the situation. 

'Please, please I have children, they are wet and cold, please'

Baby sort
This is the life these people live. It is heart-breaking, truly heart breaking watching such surroundings. It brings tears to my eyes as I pack new born baby onesies, they never deserved this, they shouldn't have this as their 'destiny'. The people out there struggling to make it each day in the freezing weather conditions should not get treated this way. It is utterly disgusting, and each and every person out there that believes we should 'help those at home first', clearly can't see past the crisis at hand. Attempt to stand in a camp for five minutes, and not feel a single thing. It is one of the most gut- wrenching times we live in. We are living in a  corrupt world where massive charities are comfortable with six figure salaries and humble charities are being blown off by the second. We live in a world where we work, we eat, we  die. We live in a world where only a few can actually accept that others need help, and are willing to look past a newspaper and help themselves. 

We live in a world where people are dying because others refuse to help.

What world do you want to live in? Manton Photography


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