When we started working in the Jungle, 14 months ago now, shoes were one of the things people were most desperate for.
It seemed like we would never have enough pairs to meet the demand of the cold feet (people were arriving with only flip flops and living in tents in the mud.)
As I walked through the camp I would hear shouts of ‘YASMEEN….42’ (a friendly reminder of their shoe size as they pointed to their feet).
Anyway, it wasn’t long before I learnt of another shocking reason as to why there never seemed to be enough shoes to go round, despite the increase in donations and distributions….
I started hearing from multiple friends in the camp that they had been picked up by police when walking along the road, driven to the middle of nowhere, where THE POLICE TOOK THIER SHOES and told them to ‘go back to the Jungle’, leaving them to walk in their socks or bare feet.
AS IF THESE PEOPLE HAVEN’T BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH!?
It devastates and baffles me that anyone could go out of their way to make the life of a refugee, a victim of war, a resident in that camp, even harder…
Especially the very people who are supposedly there to protect us all.
This group of guys experienced this just today, as they walked innocently along the road.
Imagine someone taking your shoes from you as you walked down the street.
Imagine walking home in bare feet, for hours in the cold, knowing that when you finally make it, there are no other shoes waiting for you.
Just a tent.
In the mud.
This picture was taken by our friends at the Refugee Info Bus and it broke my heart to see.
To donate shoes to the camp contact firstname.lastname@example.org or order a pair to be sent directly to Calais here.