CALAIS WEEK 5 – UPDATE
This week Anna Kalin, Jess Linton and Bobby Lloyd delivered the pilot art therapy project alongside Medecins du Monde France. It was also an opportunity to assess the project with our partner and discuss possibilities for its continuation beyond the pilot (due to end mid November).
There are now an estimated 6000 people in the camp with many new arrivals each day. Still vastly outnumbered by men we are now seeing many women, children and families in the main camp. In spite of the huge efforts that so many people are putting in to create a workable place, there’s a general mood of insecurity; people are getting cold, exhausted, frustrated and desperate; there are outbreaks of violence and deteriorating conditions; resources both internal and physical are stretched to their limits. There is a strong police presence which is exacerbating the pervasive tensions in the camp.
Men continued to use the tent with many familiar faces from previous weeks. Several stayed for a few hours and the map was again used by those keen to share their journey in a way that was manageable and supported by several others bearing witness. In the tent today children made constructions using twigs from the bushes and sand literally dug up from the tent floor.
Extensive outreach across the camp is resulting in the positive development of a possible new collaboration with the Irish-built Women and Children’s tent. Our weekly group for women and children is due to take place there from next week alongside a Medecins du Monde nurse. This new space is fast becoming a safe place for women and children to receive clothes and advice, and find a social space and some respite away from the complexity of camp life.
Please continue to support this project so that we can continue it into the winter months: http://bit.ly/1PNaE7N
Please also share as widely as possible. With thanks from all at Art Refuge UK.