ECGEM Refugee Humanitarian Aid
Since late 2015, we've been travelling back and forth from Paris to Dusseldorf and Cologne in Germany where refugees have been received with open hearts and in true humanity. People who have walked a path that we could never imagine - like 10 year old Achmed .
We recently became involved with the camp in Dunkerque in northern France where there are now between 2-3000 refugees, mostly from the Kurdish regions in Iraq, Syria and Iran - people who have fled to stay alive.
The situation in Dunkerque has escalated to deplorable.
With new arrivals each day, no firm plans have yet been approved for a warm, dry camp. Winter is knocking at the tents flaps where women, children and men are currently sleeping in mud. There are a few portable toilets, no showers. Rats scamper through the mud and hide between the tents, the same tents where babies are sleeping.
Medicines San Frontier are on the ground, as are Association Salam, and other teams trying to do their best to provide one warm meal a day. Many are trying to establish a long term solution and move everyone to a new camp - however until that happens people continue to live in conditions that are worse than third world.
Some have wood fires to keep themselves warm but many have nothing. Once the rain comes, the mud soils everything and tents, sleeping bags, blankets that were not much to begin with, become unusable.
We're currently raising funds to assist with urgent needs: blankets, wind up torches, small camp stoves for people to be able to prepare a meal, gloves, hats, wood for fires for heating. Fresh produce and assistance with meals. Disposable cups, plates, cutlery as there are no facilities for washing up. Boots. Tea and soup supplies for Maman R's open shack where she spends her days preparing something hot for her fellow refugees.
In addition to Dunkerque, some of us will be in Greece and camps in Jordan in February offering humanitarian assistance.
ALL donations will go directly to humanitarian assistance for the refugees.
ALL travel expenses are being personally covered by volunteers.
We're hoping to provide a regular supply of the most needed goods for each time that our teams can visit the camps and to help Association Salam in their ongoing effort to help those in the camp. This Friday we will be delivering torches, food, wood, cooking supplies, food, coats, gloves and hats. Next week we hope to fill our van with blankets and will adapt as needs change. We will also continue with our trips to Germany with supplies of clothing and personal care kits.
Why does this mean so much to us? We need to unite, to overcome fear with compassion and to care from the bottom of our heart about .... people. Religion, nationality, politics have nothing to do with it. We're all human beings and have to look out for each other. It's heartbreaking to see people living in situations not fit for animals, sleeping in cold fields, going hungry.
Thank you so much for supporting us and helping to bring hope to those who have nothing left but dreams of a normal life again one day.
Kelly, Reema, Fahda, Sonchu, Fatima, Allison, Jai, Suzanne, Janette, Erin, Agnes, Carina
Every Child is a Gem was established in 2008 and is a registered non-profit in France and the USA. All donations are tax deductible according to the laws in those countries.
EVERY CHILD IS A GEM
71 av Victor Hugo, 75116 Paris, France
Association 1901 déclarée – JO du 20 décembre 2008
510 049 596 00016
Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA
501c3 – Federal Tax Number : 27-0491919
Reema and Sonchu have returned from Greece where there is much sadness and despair. So many people who have little more than hope in their hearts, their lives impacted in ways that we can't even begin to imagine.
Whilst in Greece, they were able to assist many people including a Syrian family with a baby born 22 days premature. They've been able to remain in contact with the family as they have made their way through Europe and will hopefully be able to see them again soon.
On one evening, as the people waited in line for hours to board the ferry for Athens, Reema and Sonchu were able to purchase 450 sandwiches due to your generosity and give the sandwiches to hungry folk, many who had not eaten for days.
Whilst they were in Greece, here in France we also made our way back to Grande Synthe with 450 rolls of toilet paper and wind up lights - the joy that something so basic can bring is astonishing.
Here are some of photos of the purchases we've been able to make because of your kind donations, of which some of the items we have been able to deliver (but not limited to the following) include:
-500+ kgs fresh fruit and vegetables
-130 kgs halal chicken
-1500 euros worth of lights from Decathlon
-mega shop at Metro for tea, sugar, tinned beans, rice, tinned tomatoes
-cooking oil, toilet paper, disposable plates, cups, cutlery
- personal hygiene kits
- hundreds of hats and pairs of gloves for men, women and children
-homecooked biryani rice and corn muffins
- boots, blankets, socks.
Whilst we're not a large group - the little we can do makes a difference and lets our vulnerable friends know they haven't been forgotten and there are people who care.
In the coming weeks there are more trips planned - first up Jordan, back to Greece and more to the north of France and back to Germany.
We're also hoping to be able to help an association on the ground in France by assisting in the costs of the warm meal they provide at Grande Synthe camp and with food packages to those that are currently being housed offsite.
An enormous thank you to all of you for caring enough to share the word and for helping us in making a small difference.
PS - all our travel expenses are being covered personally. We are not touching a cent from donations to cover any expenses. Every cent donated is going to refugees.
We're also finalising plans for the trips to Greece and Jordan. Reema and Sonchu will be heading to Greece February 3rd and Reema will also be in camps in Jordan February 27th.
In addition to supplies for Grande Synthe, we're stocking for supplies to go to Greece and Jordan.