I will be traveling to Calais (Northern France) Dec. 22 until January 3, and I whole-heartily ask you to help me raise funds to purchase tents, winter/waterproof clothing, thermal sleeping bags, high-energy foods, and other vital items. In addition, I would like to add some toys to this list because children deserve to smile, feel special and play in the midst of their reality.
Temperatures are rapidly dropping and there are thousands of refugees who are under inhumane and unbearable conditions. I will be volunteering besides non-profits organizations ( Care4Calais and Mobile Refugee Support) whose goal is to deliver essential aid and support to refugees in Northern France.
My heart strikes to help and speak up for those in need. I ask you to join me and help me raise funds to take to Calais. Any amount donated will be truly appreciated.
For more information...
I was born and raised in Colombia but in 2009 I moved to Los Angeles. But for the last year-or-so I been in France learning French. I am now based in Paris but last year I was in Southern France.
I lived in a small town called Aix-en-Provence near Marseille where I learned the basics of French. During this time, I started to develop a sense of craving in the midst of a French Grammar Course. Half of my classmates came from the middle east. Being around them for about 20 hours a week created an impatience and crave of conversation. We were so different but yet we weren’t. We shared one collective goal: to learn French, but the reasons why were incomparable.
We talked about our day, our lunch, but truly couldn’t quite communicate or relate as I’ve would like to. As a Journalism, Public Relations, student whose intention is to work towards social development, I found myself impatient to know more about them.
At the beginning, it seemed overwhelming and almost like a bump but we still were able to communicate through smiles. Thankfully, as time passed our vocabulary expanded and then we started to learn more about each-other. At the end of the semester, we had presentations about where we came from and then that lead to what brought each of us to France. Through this project, I was finally able to learn more about them and their heart... After this, I couldn’t help but feel the immediate desire to do something. I googled, I read, I asked, I was shown photos, I was told anecdotes, but most importantly I met Baran.
Baran and I would often sit together and simply enjoy each-other’s company but we couldn’t really say much. We shared cookies and he would often give me gum. However, words weren’t necessary for us to get along. Baran was the life of the classroom. His genuine presence and heart were enough for me to want to know more about him, which by the way it is still something in progress as we both continue learning French. Baran came as a refugee from Kurdistan. He was granted asylum by the French government. He plans to stay in France until he can safely return to his motherland. Baran has been an inspiration and the source that fueled me to learn more about this social problematic.
Baran, you have inspired me and I want to thank you for always bringing so much grace and joy after all you been through. We still have many pending conversations. You have been one of the reasons why I want to go to Calais. I hope to see you soon. Lots of love and respect, my friend.
* Baran has granted me permission to address him.
** This short note was sent to him via Whatsapp.
Here is a photo of us...
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