Skills Rethink director Shagufta Nasreen hopes the children from the ‘jungle’ can make Europe their home

PUBLISHED: 14:10 08 November 2016 | UPDATED: 14:10 08 November 2016


A few weeks ago when the news of the closing of the Calais “jungle” camp by the French authorities was aired on television, I wasn’t sure what to feel, happy or sad, as we have come to know the place very well, and we almost built a bond with its unfortunate residents.

I guess emotions took a roller-coaster in both directions because of the uncertainty of the future of the migrants, but also a feeling that they need to move on with their lives mitigated the events.

More than 7,000 people have been living in the camp in very squalid conditions for years now. I was relieved to hear that Britain took about 200 children under the “Dubs” arrangement.

Most children have a family connection in the UK and will be reunited with their relatives. But some children who have no relatives will be placed with foster families at some stage in the UK.

I strongly feel our government could have done much more and quicker so these children could have avoided the horrors of the “jungle” camp.

There are still many vulnerable children out there as minor refugees whose plight we will never know.

All we can do now is pray and hope they get a better chance to build their lives in Europe as their country (Syria) is still a playground for the warmongering powers and hundreds are losing their lives everyday.

As a community we need to keep supporting the agencies working with the refugees across countries and we need more fostering families from the Asian community.

There is an urgent need for Muslim families to come forward for fostering.

At present there is a huge shortage of Asian and Muslim fostering families.

Amidst of all those sad events, I came across good news too.

I was told by a friend that a restaurant in east London is providing a free meal to deserving and homeless people every Thursday! Owner Mr Sajid Hussain is setting a great example of our society’s good work.

We need more people to do the same.

We have many very successful food businesses in east London and if they follow this example, it can really make a difference to many deserving people locally.

During the winter months cooked free meals will make a very warm contribution to our homeless community and it could save lives. More from Shagufta

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