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Calais: Catholic charity struggles to help stranded child refugees

Chlldren keep dry in plastic bags

While recent news has focussed on the UK government's decision to renege on their promise under the Dubs Amendment, to take 3,000 lone refugee children - volunteers in France are struggling to cope with hundreds of children - who've no longer even had the shelter of the 'Jungle' through this cold winter.

At the very end of January, the Calais Council registered a complaint agains...

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UK government backtracks on promise to take child refugees

Eritrean child in Calais Jungle last summer - ICN

On the International day of Prayer and Awareness of Human Trafficking, the British government announced that it was closing a scheme to take in 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees - after accepting just 350 children. Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said local authorities only "have capacity for around 400 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children until the end of this financial year" and sai...

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London talk: After the Jungle what next

Caritas Westminster and Capital Mass are hosting an event for those interested in finding out more about the situation for refugees and migrants on the coast of northern France and elsewhere after the destruction of the Calais 'Jungle' refugee camp. Come along to hear about the work of Brother Johannes Maertens at the Maria Skobtsova House in Calais, see two short films made by refugees living ...

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URGENT Appeal to help refugees sleeping outdoors in France

Since the break up of the 'Jungle' at Calais, many refugees in France have no where to shelter and are being forced to sleep out in the open - while temperatures have gone well below freezing.

The charity Care4Calais has two warehouses in Calais which are acting as hubs to get various types of donation to places where they are needed, not solely to areas close to Calais and Dunkirk. This...

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Calais: Basildon parish suspends project - others to continue

Cleared 'Jungle'

Fr Dominic Howarth, Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Church, Basildon, Essex, writes:

After fourteen months, the parish Calais project is - for now - at an end. As you will have seen on the news, the Calais jungle was completely demolished three weeks ago. The refugees living there were sent to 'welcome centres' across France. The reports being received by charities indicate that t...

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Seeking Sanctuary appeals for solidarity with remaining refugees in Calais

Site of demolished  church

Ben Bano and Phil Kerton from Seeking Sanctuary writes: The story of exiles currently and recently stuck in Calais has entered a new chapter, but they are all still in need, especially the young people. Judged solely by numerical data, the exercise to remove residents and clear the 'jungle' in Calais site was a success. The aim of officials to remove the camp before November became kno...

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Is the Calais camp really closed?

Br Johannes, Marie-Christine and Fr Joe with the cross and crescent from the demolish church and mosque

Justice and Peace Visit to Calais November 3rd and 4th 2016 "Migrants have gravitated to the North French coast for the last 17 years," we were told, on our Justice and Peace visit to France on 3rd-4th November. "And we will wait just a few weeks for them to start drifting back to seek access to the UK all over again." This is the background to the highly publicised Jungle ...

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Calais Poem: This WAS our Church

'This WAS our Church'

To the Church of St Michael in the Jungle, Calais

'Our prayers have risen to the Lord Not in a glorious building But in a tent which has been an a symbol of hope To so many trapped in the jungle around us. We have been a haven of solace and peace g...

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Reflection as Calais Jungle church and mosque are cleared

Congregation of Saint Michael's Oriental Orthodox Church at last service before church is destroyed. Image: Refugee Info Bus)

And so it ends on a Friday. Or at least some things end. Specifically, a church, a school and a mosque were destroyed* today.

On this Friday, nearly 2000 years after some other Friday, Jesus has been crucified again for your sins. You were greedy, wrathful, petty. You were hypocritically sticking to rules you would find inhumane if they applied to anybody you knew. And so he had to die. ...

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Calais Jungle: Unaccompanied children face another night outdoors

disorientated and cold

Volunteers working in Calais this evening have expressed concern over the plight of about 50 unaccompanied children who have still not been registered by the authorities and have nowhere to sleep for the second night in a row, after their shelters were destroyed.

Liz Clegg who is in Calais reports tonight that a group have now taken refuge in a local school and volunteers are supplying b...

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Calais Jungle: Concerns raised for children sleeping rough tonight

Volunteers working in Calais have expressed concern for around 100 unaccompanied children and many adults, who are sleeping rough tonight after most of the 'Jungle' camp was burnt down. Last night, large fires destroyed restaurants, shops, shelters and tents inside the camp, as well as volunteer-run projects such as the Women and Children's Bus, Baloo's Youth Centre and the Hummingbird Safe Spa...

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Eyewitness: First intake of Calais Jungle children at Lunar House

Judy Masters from the parish of Holy Apostles, Pimlico,central London, writes:

It was my privilege to work with Citizen's UK last week, when the first group of children from the Calais 'Jungle' arrived at the Home Office in Croydon. I assisted three days inside Lunar House and one day outside as part of a 100+ crowd of 'Welcomers.'

Volunteer staff from Citizens UK assiste...

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Campaigners appeal at Home Office for Calais children

Leaders of five London councils who are accepting children were presented with a Paddington bear who in the story arrives in London alone to be looked after by strangers

Church groups and representatives from eight London councils, joined Lord Alfred Dubs, actresses Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson and children dressed as Paddington Bear, outside the Home Office on Monday afternoon, to hand in a petition appealing for the government to take in more refugee children, as the Calais 'Jungle' is demolished. The event was organised by Citizens UK and the charit...

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Calais children: Message from Bishop Jonathan Clark, Citizens UK

Bishop Clark

Yesterday I was with faith and community leaders at St Michael's Church in Croydon, waiting to welcome a handful of children from the Jungle Camp in Calais. As the children walked off the coach we all felt joy that our campaign had made a difference. Every child rescued is a victory we should celebrate.

But there are hundreds left, and every child left unprotected in the Jungle Camp in C...

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