When the amazing Liz Clegg saved the life of a 7-year-old boy…
Liz runs the unofficial Women and Children’s centre in The Jungle camp in Calais and has become ‘mum’ to the hundreds of unaccompanied children living there.
Last month she got the scariest text message of her life, from a 7 year old Afghan boy called Ahmed:
“I need halp. Dariver no stop. Car no oksijan in the car.”
Ahmed was hiding in the back of a lorry, in an attempt to get to the UK, and had found himself slowly losing the ability to breathe as the locked container began to run out of oxygen. He was trapped, and he knew that the possibility of suffocation was all too real, as too many refugees before him have devastatingly found out…
But the amazing Ahmed somehow had the presence of mind and ability to text Liz the above message, at which point her and our friends at Help Refugees were able to call the police, track Ahmed’s phone, and save the life of not just Ahmed, but the 14 others he was with.
If it were not for the mobile phone that Liz had given him, the credit she had topped it up with and the emergency numbers she had drilled into him, alongside the importance of contacting her if her was in any kind of danger…this story could have ended very differently.
Ahmed is one of the hundreds of children Liz works crazily hard to support, with little things like phones, and a place where they can come and feel safe.
However kids are still dying, like 15 year old Masud, who died in the back of a refrigerated lorry in France, in an attempt to reach his sister in the UK, desperate to be reunited with her after fleeing war in Afghanistan.
Why is it down to individuals like Liz to take this on board?
Why is it up to volunteers and grassroots groups to try and care for, safeguard and love these children?
Why is this allowed to go on?
I can’t answers these questions, but in the meantime, whilst things are this way, all we can do is step up and do our best, and Liz is the most shining example of this.
We’re trying our best to raise £2000 to support Liz in her plans to continue to support not just unaccompanied children in Calais, but in the UK too. To donate directly to this cause:
This story comes via our amazing friends at Help Refugees and I took this image of a Syrian boy living in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. It is not Ahmed, but another of the thousands of kids on a journey to safety