Going to Calais

My partner and I are going to spend some of the time I’d arranged to have off-call for the now postponed Gaza trip, in the Calais refugee camps. We are learning more before we go and thinking about how to contribute; it looks like arriving equipped to do woundcare may be our plan.

This week, feeling I needed someone a lot smarter than me to help me with the bigger picture, I went to hear Professor Paul Rogers speak on “Responding to Conflict in the Middle East.” In a nutshell, he said ISIS’s rise is feeding on the desperation of the world’s disposessed; the only effective answer is not bombing (which can be observed, numbers-wise, to do ISIS’s recruiting work for it) but addressing the injustice of global resource distribution – in the face of climate change, food security for all being one of the most urgent aspects of this.

20% of the world – that’s us – has got a grip on 80% of the world’s resources. What can we expect other than what is happening right now?

You may find these sites interesting…

Professor Paul Rogers on the impact of climate change on global security: what’s going wrong and what’s going right

Transition Towns: a longterm answer, and a shortterm one too: Transition response to the refugee crisis

Children of Calais: what you can do

The Hummingbird Project: building a community centre/hospital for the camp

Calais Migrant Solidarity: reports from the ground

No Borders UK: the bigger picture

“…Imagine waking your children in the morning. Imagine feeding and dressing them. Imagine pulling a little girl’s hair into a ponytail, arguing with a little boy about which pair of shoes he wants to wear.

Now imagine, as you are doing that, you know later today you will strap their vulnerable bodies into enveloping life jackets and take them with you in a rubber dinghy – through waters that have claimed many who have done the same.

Think of the story you’d have to tell to reassure them. Think of trying to make it fun. Consider the emotional strength needed to smile at them and conceal your fear…” read on at Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean ‘migrants’

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