"Unofficial" Women and Children's Centre
Page created early 2016 and now archived.
The "Unofficial" Women & Children's support centre offers well-needed resources and essential aid for the most vulnerable in The Jungle, Calais. Working in partnership with many other organisations: including Save the Children, Medicine Sans Frontiers, Medicine du Monde, Salaam and Auberge des Migrants - the centre is a hub of information; offers referral to other services including women-only medical and therapeutic support; has a weekly aid/essential supplies distribution; provides children's play activities; supports unaccompanied minors; offers English lessons and activities such as weekly 'pamper-sessions' for women. The activities schedule has been created from dialogue and consultation with the Women & Children.
In April, they relocated to a double decker bus inside the ´Jungle` and are raising funds to be able to continue their essential work on the ground. Money raised is used for purchasing and providing fresh nutritional supplies like baby milk and good quality protein for kids and their mums. Donations go towards nappies, clothing and care for new/pregnant mothers, babies and kids. They also supply the unaccompanied minors with mobile phones so they can get in touch in an emergency, as during a recent incident when a group of them nearly suffocated inside a lorry and were able to get rescued after raising the alarm via text messages.
The "Unofficial" women & children's centre provides a safe space for hundreds of children and women living in the 'Jungle' camp in Calais 24 hours, 7 days a week, as well as caring for the many unaccompanied minors on the ground.
Led by Liz Clegg, they run daily activities, provide essential care, supplies and services necessary to support children, women and babies.
They look after pregnant women, liaise with the housing team and MSF and are the central point for distribution of all goods to women and children in the camp.
They have also begun to extend their services to those who are arriving in the UK, helping to integrate minors and women into social services and local authorities whilst offering much needed support as they are resettling into their new lives and communities.
The team is also in the process of setting up another base and office in Birmingham, offering essential support to those women and minors arriving there. This means Liz Clegg has to take on double responsibilities and so contributions will also go towards her travelling costs between the ´Jungle´ and the UK when needed and appropriate.
- The Centre is currently only accepting long term volunteers (2 weeks or more) or those who have a structured activity that they can take to carry out with the members of the Centre.
- All volunteers should have a recent DBS check. (http://www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/)
In their wider reach, the centre also coordinates volunteers for their Maktab project at the Dunkirque camp. They are always looking for long term volunteers with experience in working with children and who are DBS checked. If you would like to volunteer in Dunkirk, please post a message on this Facebook Page. (link coming soon) Maktab also welcomes puppet shows, childrens' art workshops and travelling musicians.
If you have teaching qualifications and have two or more weeks to commit to helping deliver Early Years Provision in Dunkirk, please email email@example.com