Our first trip of the New Year to Dunkirk reunited us with familiar faces and introduced us to new families. For some of our volunteers it was their first visit to Dunkirk and there were clear contrasts with Calais. The shelters in Dunkirk lack any windows leaving families in complete darkness and there are few spaces for adults and children to study, eat or relax.
While we were happy to see children we had first met in the Jungle wrapped in scarves and hoods, we met many young people with no more than a thin coat to protect them from the bitter wind. However, inside the Red Cross’ Butterfly House were we ran our activities children were able to warm up and take part in a variety of creative activities.
Children made beautiful t-shirts and masks and used volunteers as canvases to create distinctive designs with face paints! Many families brought their babies and toddlers who were also able to enjoy drawing and face painting. It was particularly nice to see the way in which teenagers helped younger children to make bracelets and masks, as well as adults helping volunteers to engage young people!. Thank you to the Red Cross volunteers Chloe and Mohsen for all their help in organising our workshop and kindly sharing their beautiful family centre with us!
We hope to continue to work with The Butterfly House in the future providing workshops for children and support for the many vulnerable families which access the centre. Your support has allowed us to continue to provide vital resources to families in Dunkirk and Paris facing severe weather conditions this month.
Please consider donating again and also sharing this appeal with your friends and family as we are now planning our second trip to the camp, which we will also focus on bringing essential aid now needed by the families and children, such as nappies, wipes, fruit, warm items of clothing alongside other essentials.
The Help4Refugee Children Team