For several years, we at BARAC UK have been organising humanitarian aid missions to support people who are displaced and are refugees. These are people who have fled persecution, the impacts of climate change, conflict and poverty. They are stuck in limbo in France, with the hope of being reunited with loved ones in the UK, following months of perilous journeys.
We believe in practical solidarity so as well as campaigning for migrant and refugee rights we wanted to do something that was practical also.
Over recent years we have faciliated regular bi-monthly or quarterly missions to take aid and solidarity and support people, organising fundraising events and activities and then travelling to France to distribute food, clothes, toiletries, camping equipment, blankets and sleeping bags and what ever is most needed at the time. Joining BARAC have been other grassroots race equality groups and students to support the work we are doing and to go with us to France. We have worked directly with people who are refugees and with charities on the ground to cater for cultural, dietary and religious needs in addition to urgent and practical needs.
During the pandemic over the past 18 months plus, we have been unable to carry out an aid mission so instead we did fundraising and donated directly to the Refugee Community Kitchen as well as supporting people here in the UK with no recourse to public funds who were destitute.
We are planning to take aid and solidarity in late November, working with our regular partner organisations in France, the Refugee Community Kitchen, L'Auberge des Migrant and Help Refugees.
We will spend the funds raised on our regular aid and solidarity missions for food, cooking ingredients, warm clothes, sleeping bags, blankets, toiletries and other essential items and also for our campaigns to fight racism and injustice and for migrant rights. Current campaigns include Justice and compensation for the Windrush Generation, opposing mass deportations by charter flight, human rights for people with no recourse to public funds, opposing the borders bill, climate justice for the Global South, the disproportionate equality impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and of austerity and cuts.
People who are refugees in France have no shelter, no camp, they are living out in the open and it becomes very wet and bitterly cold during the winter, especially at night. Most of them are children or young people in their early twenties, many have lost their parents and are alone. They have experienced trauma and loss.
We have been supported over the years by both grassroots migrant rights and race equality organisations and the trade union movement including the TUC Black Workers Conference and PCS Union.
We appreciate that the pandemic has impacted financially on everyone, but for those who are refugees or with no recourse to public funds, it has been even harder so no donation is too small as they all add up. Our fundraising support has always been facilitated by people power. We have raised over £20,000 for our humanitarian aid work since we started doing this.
We thank you for your support as we can't do this without you.