Why Do Refugees Want to Go to England?

JeffSnackShack

‘These shelves are starting to look worryingly empty’, said Steve Stavrinides of Refugee Community Kitchen with a concerned frown. ‘We urgently need supplies’.

It was one thing having a deluge of volunteers and donations over the Christmas period where the festive spirit runs deep and the misfortune of others sharpens into focus. But with January upon us, the weather worsening and potential volunteers back at work, the future looked increasingly treacherous.

I glanced over at the Snack Shack, a 1984 kebab van that was donated to a sister charity in Calais. Just yesterday, Rufus, one of the tireless Refugee Community Kitchen chefs who works with Steve, had commented on the state of the engine and the telltale smell of burning oil emanating from the chassis. With a critical role delivering 800 hot meals a day to the Grand-Synthe camp, it began to feel that the infrastructure of the relief mission was starting to buckle.

As smoke billowed out from the van, myself and Bastien, a fellow volunteer with Artists in Action began to do some very uncomfortable maths. With funds increasingly scarce, buying a replacement vehicle could cripple the food supply. [Read more →]