One of teachers, Ms Hafezjee, recently travelled over to France to work as a volunteer teacher at "The Jungle" camp in Calais.
We're very proud of her and the great work she did there.
She sent an update to us here and we've posted it below, along with some pictures:
Dear Cromer Road parents and staff,
Thank you so much for the generosity shown with your donations of books, school materials and funds for the Refugees in The Calais Jungle.
Having visited the Refugee Jungle myself, helping in the school, warehouse and kitchen, I have seen first-hand how desperately our help was and still needed and appreciated.
The conditions are as its' name implies, like a "jungle". The families living in tents and makeshift shelters and unaccompanied minors looking lost and desperately needing care and guidance.
The "Jungle School" where my friend Katrin and I were teaching, took place in a small wooden shed built by volunteers, covered in blue plastic sheet. It was cold, damp and poorly equipped.
The children I met, all adolescent boys, despite their horrible ordeals, were polite and friendly. Surprisingly, very eager to learn. Not much older than my own children.
These delightful young boys still had hope and dreams for the future, despite having their homes and families taken from them.
It was admirable to see that they could still smile, even though they were clearly in pain from the tight shoes worn and flips-flops that barely protected their feet from the cold and rain. I could see the gratitude and relief they felt at seeing that there were people who didn't forget about them and cared about their rights to food, shelter, clothing, education and happiness.
As we walked through the kitchen and pantry the volunteers described how desperate their situation was, the difficult task of providing at least one hot meal a day for thousands of refugees in the Jungle, with a shortage of resources. Some days seemed impossible!
One of the volunteers explained how last week 200 tents (homes) and 2 kitchens were lost after a fire broke out. Approximately 800 refugees had to be relocated. This made it even more challenging to feed the refugees over the last couple of weeks.
Hence, Katrin and I used the funds we raised to buy large bulks of items needed such as oil, milk, flour, sugar, salt. We also bought dates for the large number Muslim refugees who were observing the month of Ramadan.
Thanks to all of those who donated!
On the a brighter note, I was truly amazed and moved by the vast number of kind and selfless people I met in the last few days, many of them travelling from the United Kingdom on their days off and weekends to volunteer and some having left their jobs and families indefinitely to live in a caravan near the camp to be more available.