Visit of the “Jungle”

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Monday 18 July : First day at Calais

First day at the “Jungle” for Marion, Fanny, Juliette, Sébastien and Gaëtan, member of “Young Caritas Essonne”, Caritas France.

At 9.30am we arrive at “accueil du jour” a welcoming house for refugees. We meet the Caritas team working at Calais. They explaine all the activities to us at the “accueil de jour”: repair shop for bike, an artistic workshop, French lessons, address for asylum seekers, games and gardening.

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At 11am we meet migrants in the Jungle with Caritas France employees which are used to the site. While walking, the kindness of the people is surprising us. A first group of Iraqi, Kuwati and Iranian refugees invite us to drink an Iraqi tea in their shelter. We drink this tea with conviviality.
While visiting the camp, another group of around forty refugees is coming from Sudan and invited us to play music, sharing French and Sudanese songs. We share a lunch, which was cooked by the Sudanese.
Then we visit a Syrian family, where half of it went through England thanks to 13,000 pound sterling given to smuggler; this family, is really happy to see us and gives us orange juice to drink.

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We spend the afternoon together with migrants to art exercises, and then we meet women and children living in the Jungle.

Tuesday 19 July

For the second day, we start with the welcoming breakfast at “acceuil du jour”. Today we are going with the women and children in an area managed by “la vie active”. Those workers take care of the community. Today, a magic show amazes children, magician come from the group “m’agis”. After that, we play music with the children, who discover some instruments. Everybody shares the lunch cooked together.

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During the afternoon several activities are proposed : magic with the troupe, creative workshop for the children or cooking, working and volley-ball for the adults. We eat all of dessert we prepared and add some ice cream.
This day was amazing for us and them : it changed of every day life.

Wednesday 20 July

Today we are going to one of the schools of the “Jungle”, teaching french. The room is warm-hearted and we find a lot of motivated students. We are separated on small groups which permit to have great discussions.

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At lunch time, we are invited by the kuwati and iraqi we met on Monday. We are still surprised by the generosity of those persons.

During the afternoon we go back to Calais, where we meet a group of refugees coming at the Caritas Summer University. We can answer all of their questions.

Thursday 21 July

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We spend a long time at school with some of the students from yesterday. At the end of the day, we organize a concert at “accueil du jour”. We can sing French and Sudanese songs. We meet the participant of the summer school again, which is helpful to get to know each other.

Friday22 July

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We spend the beginning of the day at the French school. During the afternoon we watch a film at “cine club”, we choose a French comedy “Serial (Bad) Weddings”. We debate about it. The more common idea about it is the open minding about the religion and culture, they also notice that the language is really important for the integration. At the end of the day we share a meal with Sudanese. This evening was highly emotional for everybody.b11

Saturday 23 July

Last hours as French teacher. Saying goodbye is difficult. The afternoon we join the group participating at the Summer school, at the beach, where we dance, sing and enjoy.b12

This was a great experience. We met so many friendly and kindly persons. We are really excited to go to the Summer school at Saint Malo in August to meet our new friends again!b13

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