Blog Archive

Tuesday 9 February 2016

BARAC Humanitarian Work: Report on our January aid distribution in Calais and Dunkerque


On Saturday 30th January  BARAC UK distributed the food, blankets, hair and skin products, sanitary towels and other toiletries we purchased with your donations in Calais. We took a mixture of traditional foods, fresh vegetables and fruit and basic food supplies. We also had toiletries supplied by Lush, sleeping bags, clothes and toiletries donated by Maria Ishfiaq who wrote about her fundraising efforts for our distribution in previous update and adult and children's books donated by Newham Bookshop. 

On arrival the 'camp' in Calais was unrecognisable due to people being crowded into a smaller space due to government imposed exclusion zones. We saw far more young children than before. 

BARAC distributed the food and toiletries/ clothes packs with the help of some friends living in the 'camp' who are refugees. The food was divided between the community kitchens at the 'camp.'

The sleeping bags and blankets were distributed to new arrivals , the Lush supplies and sanitary towels went to the women's centre and the books to the 'camp' library. 

After distributing the items we filled our van with family sized tents which had been donated to L'Auberge des Migrants to take to another 'camp' in Dunkerque. Police surrounding the camp refused to allow tents to be taken into the camp although they were much needed and searched everyone going in and out. Conditions there were even worse than Calais , extremely muddy, many families with young children, people cooking on open fires and just a handful of toilets and a couple of showers. We discovered that there are no facilities to wash clothes and due to the mud, clothes soon become dirty and have to be discarded. 

We aim to take aid going forward to both Calais and Dunkerque. 

Our transport and travel costs were met for this humanitarian visit and the previous two by the Public and Commercial Service Union. If you are interested in sponsoring a future distribution please contact us. Sponsorship of travel and transport means that the money we raise here goes directly towards food, toiletries and essential items. 

Please continue to donate and share details of our work to bring aid and solidarity to our sisters and brothers fleeing war, poverty, persecution and climate change. 

We appreciate everyone who has contributed, be this financially, with donations or by giving their time. but without donations we would have nothing to distribute. Our  next humanitarian visit to the camps in France will be in March.

 If you want to donate items please contact us so we can provide you with details of our drop off point.

 If you want to make a financial contribution to the items we purchase, please use the link at the top of this article.

The CWU union and GMB union at CWU have agreed donations to sponsor our transport and travel for the next distribution. If you would like to sponsor please contact us by email

Please keep giving what you can so that we can do what we can to ensure our sisters and brothers have some shelter, warm clothing and food.  But please also continue to challenge myths and lies about refugees and migrants fleeing climate change, persecution, poverty and war, designed to scaremonger and spread hatred. 

Thank you and Solidarity 


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