7th January 2021
Today Orthodox Christmas was able to be celebrated by over 100 Eritrean refugees living outside on the edge of Calais and the same number on this side of the English Channel in the Napier Army Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, now refugee camp housing over 400 people seeking asylum in the UK.
All week food has been sourced, prepared, cooked and today delivered so that the Eritrean communities could share a Christmas meal together, with key ingredients of injera bread and berbere spice. Made possible by long term volunteer Alex Holmes in Calais and by Aida Silvestri in Folkestone, and everyone in between. . In Calais a group of young men and women chopped mountains of onions and cooked mountains of eggs, and made injera bread in the Maria Skobtsova safe house with food contributions from the Refugee Community Kitchen
Art Refuge was pleased to deliver the injera bread from a cafe in London to Folkestone where Aida chopped 10kg of onions, 10kg of carrots, 15kg of potatoes, 10kg of cabbage and 1/2 kg of garlic!
In Calais the celebratory meal took place outside as the sun set. Such cultural celebrations are essential for supporting the mental health and wellbeing of refugees in transit, living in often inhospitable and challenging conditions and separated from family, community and spaces of faith.