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Dunkirk: Letter from Seeking Sanctuary

image Caritas  Europa

As we prepare this Easter update we continue to get disturbing news from Dunkirk where the camp was almost entirely destroyed by fire. Many of the residents who were displaced were put up for a few nights in local sports centres but they have now been told to move on - but to where? Some buses were provided but the majority of those involved preferred to push or carry their few possessions away...

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Calais: Things have never been so tough

image - Benny Hunter

News from those working in Calais is that things have never been so tough. The French 'welcome centres' distributed across the country may have provided a solution for some people, but for those where it didn't, conditions are worse than the Jungle ever was. There are hundreds of refugees, mostly minors, sleeping rough on the streets of Calais and Paris with no access to shelter from the elemen...

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Vatican official visits agencies working with refugees

Ben Bano (Seeking Sanctuary), Faith Anderson (CSAN), Mgr Anthony Figueiredo, Libby Abbott (CAFOD), Phil Kerton (Seeking Sanctuary)

Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo of the Migrants and Refugees section of the Vatican's new Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development visited CAFOD and Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) this week, to hear about their work with refugees.

In particular, Mgr Figueiredo was interested in the work of CSAN member Seeking Sanctuary and their grassroots work delivering material aid ...

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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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Campaigners urge Theresa May not to abandon lone child refugees + PETITION

image - Caritas Europa

Charities and groups working with unaccompanied child refugees have expressed grave concern after the government announced yesterday that it cancelled plans to bring 3,000 children to the UK. Phil Kerton, from Seeking Sanctuary, which works with Secours Catholique in Calais offering food, clothing and basic medical help to refugees, appealed for "individuals and faith groups to sp...

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Seeking Sanctuary - update on Calais refugees

Image from the demolish Jungle Eritrean Church

Phil Kerton and Ben Bano from Seeking Sanctuary send this latest report on the situation in Calais.

We have both made recent trips to deliver much-needed goods collected by a number of Church Communities. A very generous donation from a church in North London enabled Ben to distribute €1,000 to Secours Catholique and to the Catholic Worker House which is doing such vital wo...

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Calais: A new chapter starts

I set off to drive to Dover on the last day of November to make my first visit to Calais since the destruction of the 'Jungle' camp. The temperature was permanently below zero as I headed East along the A2 and M2, with the blinding morning sun ahead of me. I had already packed goods from a variety donors into the car and met up with Ben and his son to add an even larger quantity principally col...

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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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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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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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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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Seeking Sanctuary says: 'Bring the children NOW !'

No child should live in these conditions

In the confusion and squalor of the Calais jungle, hundreds of unaccompanied children await their fate. There have been reports that 10 per cent of the children identified in August as eligible to come to the UK have gone missing, very possibly at the hands of traffickers.

Ben Bano, from Seeking Sanctuary who has 40 years experience in social work, said: '"This situation is intolerable. ...

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Campaigners voice fears over impending clearance of Calais 'Jungle'

What does the future hold for this child?

Campaigners have expressed concern over the impending clearance of the Calais 'Jungle'.

As reported by Independent Catholic News on October 7th, an agency of the French Bishops Conference cautiously accepted the general thrust of government plans to dismantle the Calais camp and relocate its refugees, saying that the plans are "going in the right direction." A spokesman said: "We hope th...

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