The trouble with a kneejerk campaign based on pictures of dead children is that everyone wants to give help to children..and mothers of children.
Yesterday I was already noticing frustration and some anger on social media that the collections for Calais were saying nothing was needed for children and women (at the moment) because the Calais Jungle is mostly men and there is nowhere to store overspill. (hint…if the refugees need tents they don’t have warehouses to store excess goods in).
There are hundreds of lorries due to do the run to Calais – mostly unco-ordinated, full of good intentions and in many cases with stuff that is just not needed or will be surplus to requirement.
This is the sort of emergency job the army would do very well…. get stuff to people where its actually needed in big trucks (but maybe without the uniforms as I suspect a lot of refugees would be freaked out by a military presence).
Or the Red Cross….
Please…if you are collecting stuff for Calais get up to date lists of what’s needed from groups already on the ground and know what’s needed – like UKHIP (The United Kingdom Humanitarian Intervention Party)or local organisation Salam [majority of site en Francais] or think wider afield and find groups/charities sending stuff further on and further in, such as Kos Kindness …. if you want to ‘think of the children’.
It’s very doubtful David Cameron will be letting the Calais refugees in any time soon – the theory seems to be that if you let them in more will gather and we’d be back at square one…what we’ll do is pander to popular demand and send for women and children from further afield (hopefully people who want to come here)…and orphans, orphans understandably are in most need. I saw people offering rooms in their homes online too and almost all of them wanted children or mothers with children…nobody seemed to want an extra male in their home.
So what of the young men (and women) in Calais? Many of those who want to come to the UK, from what I’ve read, want to come because they already have friends or family here, because they speak English or because they’ve been here before …. otherwise they’d do what the vast majority of refugees do and make for somewhere else. Many of them are well educated, or want to be educated and all of them want to work, to contribute to a country that will take them in.
Let them in.. there are only 3,000 or so…. just let them in whilst the cogs of government work out how few refugees they can get away with taking in. Let the Jungle in, apologise for making them wait so long and let’s make the best of it.