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Dunkirk, May 22, 2024

We worked today alongside the @medecinsdumonde mobile clinic and visiting @medecinsdumondebelgique team, collectively offering medical and psychosocial support on the edge of Dunkirk. We were told that the Rwanda Act is starting to cause a wave of anxiety and stress amongst people on the move in northern France.

It was relatively busy today with a steady flow of people bringing injuries, burns and minor illnesses to the doctor. Two mothers and their children sat drawing with us in the activities van while waiting to be treated.

The weather was blustery, warm in the sun but cold in the shade. Today there was interest and engagement at the large world map which, tied to a prominent metal fence, acted as a helpful windbreaker.

At the map we met two young men, each impressive in their command of several languages and their love of poetry and literature. The younger man, still a teenager, sat with us to read a book of migration postcards and messages from around the world which he said made him emotional but also that they brought him some hope. Rwanda was on his mind, as was the weight of his long journey from home and his next steps. As he left he said that kindness is the most important thing in the world.

The second man, who described himself as a poet and artist, spoke about the many horrible things he had witnessed in his country where numerous artists, actors, writers and musicians are in prison.

Meanwhile, a kite was flown high above the fence and trees in what proved to be very good wind conditions. Then names, including our own, were typed onto paper. Attached to the string, we all watched as the paper sped its way up the line of the kite, apparently a sign of good luck according to one of the MdM interpreters who recalled playing with ‘line climbers’ as a child.

On our way back across the English Channel we heard news of the General Election, announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for July 4th.

Words by Bobby Lloyd & Miriam Usiskin.

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