Introducing the Year of Mercy Pope Francis wrote:
“It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may …. rediscover these corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead.”
In response to the refugee crisis at the present time all donations to the Poor Box from Monday 13th June to Sunday 3rd July (including Refugee Week 20th – 26th June 2016) will be passed to Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum for their work with refugees – please be generous.
There are two organisations active in Cambridge, described below, who would welcome your support be that your time, money or goods:
1. Cambridge Refugees Resettlement Campaign
Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign (CRRC) is a group of volunteers working within Cambridge to welcome refugees and those seeking asylum, fleeing persecution and war. The aim is to positively influence public opinion on refugees, enabling the people of Cambridgeshire to volunteer their services and provisions to help those newly arrived in the area.
Ways you can help:
- Donate furniture, household and electrical goods, clothing, toys, baby/toddler equipment, stationery to add to the provision offered by the local council.
- Volunteer your time and skills to help with the campaign. Passionate and driven individuals are needed to take responsibility for key tasks. Specific jobs and needs are advertised on the website.
- Pledge your time and skills to support refugees in Cambridge. The exact needs vary; check the website or facebook page for details.
- Landlords – can you offer a property to a refugee family? Get in touch to learn about the conditions and details.
Visit their website for further details of activities and to pledge your support.
Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow @CamRefugees and join the facebook group for regular updates.
2. Cambridge Calais Refugee Action Group (CamCRAG)
This is a group of people who live in and around Cambridge working to help the refugees living in the camp in Calais. They aim to raise awareness of the situation and to provide practical help to the refugees by fundraising and organizing regular convoys travel to Calais to help build shelters and distribute aid. Specific items are collected for each convoy focussing on the needs of the moment.
Ways you can help:
On June 25th to Castle Street Methodist Church from 10am to 3pm volunteers will be on hand to accept donated goods. It is essential that only items needed in the camps are collected – volunteers there are struggling to sort and store unwanted items. Please visit this page, which covers exactly what is needed. Your generosity is appreciated, but please do NOT bring unwanted items along, as there is not the space to store them.
Charities working with refugees across the world:
Jesuit Refugee Service UK accompanies, serves and advocates on behalf of asylum seekers from their first arrival until they are settled satisfactorily. They especially work with detained asylum seekers and destitute asylum seekers. This work then feeds into their campaigning and lobbying activities at a local, national and international level.
Visit their website to see how you can support their work
CAFOD continues to work with partners in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq supporting people in desperate need. Through the Caritas network of Catholic aid agencies, through Secours Catholique they are supporting refugees in Calais. They also directly support Caritas Greece and Caritas Serbia to provide aid to the thousands of refugees arrived in their countries.
CAFOD continues to work in other countries across the world to help people who are in acute need, helping them to remain in their homeland when migration is likely due to violence, persecution and poverty affecting their community.
Aid to the Church in Need helps persecuted and oppressed Christians around the world through prayer, information and action. They have been able to supply much-needed aid to families in Syria and Lebanon. See their website for more details of their work and how your donation can be used.