We have done it! We are so grateful for everyone’s support. In just over two weeks the Jewish community has come together and raised £180,000. Much of that in bundles of £2,000 donated by families from the Kindertransport, refugees and descendants of refugees. And then many many others who have helped raise these funds, that mean already 53 children and an additional 47 children will be reunited with their families in the UK in the coming weeks.
Its an incredible achievement, and its a beautiful act of compassion and caring. And it has been noticed in a number of places, most especially with those on the ground and at the coal face of the refugee crisis.
UNHCR Representative to the United Kingdom Gonzalo Vargas Llosa said, “it is hugely inspiring to see the descendants of refugees who fled Nazi persecution mobilizing to see todays’ children protected.We face the greatest refugee crisis in generations and must each ask ourselves what we can do and how we can contribute. Ensuring that refugee children can access safe and legal routes to protection must be among our highest priorities.”
Under Safe Passage’s guidance we have decided to call an end to this specific fundraising campaign. The MASORTI JUDAISM BTDonate page is now closed. Safe Passage Just Giving page is changing to a new campaign.
A new parallel piece of work is being ramped up as the demolition of the Calais camp is imminent. Safe Passages lawyers advice to urgently start the work to set up a formal processing system by the French Government, and to create a system to bring over the unaccompanied minors who are in Calais under the Dubs Amendment (unaccompanied and no family, but wishing to come to the UK).
Relying on charity to pay for lawyers to bring children one-by-one, is not sustainable. The fundraising we have all done is effective for 100 children. Relying on charity for each child on a case by case basis is not a long term solution. Rather, encouraging government to establish this system as quickly as possible will ultimately help many more refugee children. You can follow, and please consider ongoing support for, Safe Passage as they undertake this critical next step work.
The photo is of two children reunited with their father last week – they had not seen each other for three years. You made that happen. Feel proud.