CamCRAG has helped fund a project providing clean blankets for refugees in Paris.
We learnt from Calaid that blankets which had been donated to aid groups in the city were laying unused. Refugees on the streets are being forced to survive in horrendous conditions and there have been outbreaks of diseases and lice meaning the blankets were discarded – some also had been pepper-sprayed and could no longer be used.
We decided to fund a project with Calaid and local refugee group Utopia56 to deep clean and sterilise 2,000 blankets at a local launderette meaning they can be given out once again to refugees forced to sleep in tents and make shift shelters. People are arriving regularly in the city and aid workers are handing out 100 blankets a day, without being able to reuse them they feared running out and having to leave people vulnerable to the cold. It was also a more environmentally friendly option than simply sending the blankets to landfill.
The project was funded by £1500 raised by CamCRAG supporters in Cambridge through events and donations.
Lara Brettell, CamCRAG chair, said: “Funding a project like this is a really effective way for our supporters’ donations to be used to make a real difference on the streets of Paris where refugees are arriving daily.
“The aid services on the ground are helping refugees who are seeking shelter from civil war and oppression in their home countries – they are volunteers, not Government agencies and they are struggling to cope with the demands of the refugee crisis.”