Seeking Sanctuary is a small organisation which has for many year’s promoted awareness of the migrants and refugees living along the Northern French coast, and providing humanitarian assistance to those stranded in and near Calais.
As Christmas approaches they and their associates in France are continuing to support the some 1,000 people still in the camp at Dunkirk, and the others who have disappeared into the countryside following the closure of the Calais. They are also assisting those who have been dispersed into centres across France, working alongside the local support groups which are becoming established. They are all well positioned to use their channels of communication and delivery to ensure that gifts get to those who are in need.
‘Little Bags of Love and Hope’ is a way of churches and communities to help provide some of the small items most needed at this time.
Typical contents which are suitable for the young men should include the following:
- a wind-up torch (or torch plus spare batteries)
- scarf, hat, gloves (fabric or leather – not knitted)
- a small pack of nuts or dried fruit.
Other useful information:
- It is very important that all the bags or containers should have the same contents.
- Please don’t send unhealthy sweets; and do not use Christmas wrapping or mention the Christian festival in greetings – most recipients will be Muslim so a message expressing hope for better times in 2017 would be suitable.
- Please do not include teddy bears, toys or cosmetics.
- Keep your words simple, as few recipients will be accustomed to reading the Western alphabet.
- It may be easier to organise a general collection of goods within your community and then arrange a ‘packing day/evening’, with a group of people who are able to pack the parcels with you.
If your parish or community would like to take part, and for more guidance, please contact Seeking Sanctuary by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07887 651117.