We are a group of volunteers collecting urgently needed donations for those living in the Calais refugee camps. We believe that no person should be without access to basic human rights like shelter and warmth, and by collecting donations we can work to improve these conditions.
The situation in Calais is part of a wider migration crisis in Europe - caused largely by the displacement of people from war-torn countries such as Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan and Eritrea. In addition to offering support and assistance, we hope to change the perception of this crisis from one of hostility and fear to one of concern and compassion.
Project Playtime is well under way. We have supplied three camps, Silver Bay, Filippiada and Eleousa with various sports equipment and art supplies. Camps Eleousa and Filippiada have children ages 0-18 but with a concentration on 6-12 yr olds. Eleousa has 117 children and Filippiada has 220 children. Here are some messages from the teachers at the camps about our work:
Danielle, 35. from Pennsylvania said:
"The children were so excited to cut, glue and create with their friends. They were so proud of the artwork they made together."
"Art and play is such a great way for children from across cultures to share ideas and cooperate together."
March 2017 update
We are pleased to announce that we are supporting three new locations!
- An orphanage in Syria: $1,000 for activity supplies for 47 children in Syria who are living at a Syrian orphanage.
- The Yarimburgaz and Okmeydani refugee camps. We are funding art kits for six months for both camps and are also supplying an educational tent for Yarimburgaz. Activities that will be held at the camps include weekend art workshops for 5-15 year olds as well as Turkish lessons.
Location: Silver Bay, Filippiada and Eleousa Greece (3 camps in Greece), Yarimburgaz and Okmeydani refugee camps in Turkey, an orphanage in Syria
Challenge: Children in refugee camps are often under stimulated and lack basic elements of childhood such as learning opportunities, structured play actives and other interactions that we take for granted on a daily basis. The need to help these children continue to grow and learn is great.
Purpose: We will be providing activity kits that volunteers can use in the refugee camp to work with the children. The kit will include various items such as sports equipment, interactive play items and school supplies. Our partner, CalAid, will be taking a team out to Greece to put together education / recreation / activity programmes in the camps. They will also recruit permanent residents to run the programs - focusing on sustainable skills and enabling communities to build up around positive activities. The purpose is to continue to help the children who have lost so much of their childhood find hope and joy as we give them back a small piece of a normal life despite their challenging surroundings.