Ma­sorti youth take trip to help refugees in Calais

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY ROSA DO­HERTY

TEN MEM­BERS of Ma­sorti youth group Marom gave hands-on sup­port to refugees over Suc­cot by trav­el­ling to Calais to build shel­ters and sort sup­plies.

“I watched with hor­ror as im­ages of the refugee cri­sis be­gan to flood news and so­cial media chan­nels,” ex­plained one of the group, Lily Stein.

“With a bit of re­search, I found that aid or­gan­i­sa­tions were in des­per­ate need of vol­un­teers to help sort and dis­trib­ute the do­na­tions in Calais, so I had to go. It just makes sense for young peo­ple with time to spare to do what they can.”

Harry Kelly, 19, felt it was all very well “sit­ting in our north-west Lon­don homes say­ing ‘isn’t this bad’? I thought we re­ally need to be do­ing some­thing.

“Be­ing there over Suc­cot, the sym­bol­ism was not lost on me. But I kept think­ing: ‘Why are there not more peo­ple here help­ing?’”

The stu­dent had been taken aback by the “pos­i­tive at­mos­phere” in the camp, even though “it stank, peo­ple were liv­ing in tents and there were very few tem­po­rary shel­ters”.

Rabbi Oliver Joseph, who trav­elled with the group, said: “The refugee story is our story, too. As we celebrate Suc­cot, we walk with a sense of how vul­ner­a­ble our lives are. We are chil­dren of refugees and a peo­ple who jour­neyed from Egypt and sought tem­po­rary shel­ter.”

Around 3,000 refugees live in the camp, with more ar­riv­ing daily. “We built shel­ters but they were just wooden and on the cold ground,” Mr Kelly said.

“You can’t help think­ing about what it is go­ing to be like there as the weather wors­ens and it gets colder and wet­ter.”

Clear­ing up in Calais

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.