It was September 10th 2015, a mere eight days after Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea’s photo shocked the world, that the Irish Government announced plans to ‘take 4,000 refugees in new programme’.
The number was way behind figures pledged by other European countries at the same time, but it definitely felt like we were making some progress.
At the time, the Government said that’priority would be given to unaccompanied minors’, with Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, saying ‘refugees would start arriving in groups of 50 or 100 within weeks, with more coming before the end of the year’.
Almost one year on, Ireland has taken in 311 refugees.
Since September 2015, 4,051 men, women and children have drowned trying to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean sea, in search of the lives we were born with the privilege of.
Both as a country and as individuals, we have a duty to help our fellow human beings, and there are several ways in which you can help.
Contact Frances Fitzgerald – NOW!
Tweet, email or write to Minister Fitzgerald, and ask her why, a year on, we have only fulfilled 8% of our pledge?
Write: Minister’s Office
Department of Justice and Equality
51 St Stephens Green
Dublin 2, D02 HK52
I’ve put together a sample Tweet and Email/Letter template which you can copy and paste.
Hi @FitzgeraldFrncs why has Ireland only taken in 311 of a promised 4000 refugees and what are YOU doing to fulfil this promise?
I am writing to ask you why Ireland has only taken in 311 refugees, when almost one year ago you pledged that Ireland would take in 4,000?
At the time, it was promised that ‘priority would be given to unaccompanied minors’, yet there are still hundreds of these parent-less children languishing it the Calais refugee camp? If it wasn’t for the tireless work of volunteers in the camp, these vulnerable children would be in even more dangerous situations. They are traumatised, malnourished and beyond scared.
Can you please let me know when and how the figure of 4,000 will be fulfilled, and provide an update as to what you are doing about the current situation in Calais, where hundreds of undocumented children have gone missing just an hours flight away from Dublin?
As Minister of Justice and Equality, you have a duty to help these children, as you promised to do.
How You Can Help – Today!
There are no major NGO (non-governmental organisations) in Calais, but there are hundreds of volunteers who are giving up their time to help alleviate the pain, hunger, fear and destitution facing refugees in Calais.
I can’t stress how even the smallest amount of money can help, be it to provide shelter, food, phone credit, medical supplies or solidarity.
There is no doubt about it, if it wasn’t for the non-stop and tireless efforts of kitchen volunteers, people would be starving to death in Calais.
Please donate to either :
I can’t express enough how much of a necessity phones are in the camp. They are a lifeline, a form of communication, a way to wile away the long lonely hours in the limbo that is Calais. If you’ve asked yourself ‘why do they need smartphones?’ ask the same question of yourself.
Donate credit money via Paypal here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be the reason someone can ring their mother, wife, children.
VOLUNTEER: Volunteers are ALWAYS needed in Calais. Volunteer roles with the Help Refugee group include food prep, building, sorting donations, and distributing in the camp.
I can only speak from my own experiences, but volunteering there was a life-changing.
To sign up email: email@example.com
Solidarity Not Charity
Calais Field Music, set up by Isolda Heavy, features music recorded from the camp in Calais. Isolda records camp residents performing pieces of music, makes them downloadable online with all proceeds going to the musician.
Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/calaisfieldmusic
Baloo’s is a youth centre and project supporting 12 – 18-year-old boys living in The Jungle refugee camp, Calais.
Every week they take a group out – and at this time of the year, it’s the beach. These children and young men have made traumatic journeys across hundreds of miles, witnessing things no person, let alone a child, should ever have to.
Help them forget for a few hours by donating here: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/refugeeyouthservice