Whilst governments are finding it difficult to decide how to deal with the Refugee Crisis, many citizens are taking it into their own hands to help in whichever way they can. A simple gesture, like holding a small concert in order to raise money for the cause, can be a great help.
Here in Cambridge there are various events that are being put together in order to help provide assistance for the Refugees. One such event was held at The Cornerhouse, organised by George Horler and Dan Ellis, who invited various solo performers and bands to help raise awareness and money. George Horler is a singer/songwriter, who is making his art to help raise awareness and to encourage closer kinship amongst people of all races.
George – “We decided to organise a fundraiser for Cambridge Calais Refugee Action group. It’s a problem that is not going to go away, so we’re also helping to raise some awareness of the issue. We created an event on Facebook, and it was filled very quickly with musicians wishing to come and play and show their support.”
Dan Ellis, also a musician, has been making trips to Calais over the last few months.
Dan – “I’ve been to Calais six times now, first time in October 2015. I’ve worked quite hard to build a shelter there, and go back every month to keep an eye on things, take pictures of the shelter, and fix things. I went back the first month and found the shelter had a slash through it, so I placed tape over that, and later boarded it up. It’s become more dense in that area since then. And of course in the past week all that area has been ripped down and 3,500 homeless people have been created. Goodness knows how these people will cope, as they had a stable base with a lock on their door, and now they have nothing. We played a clip from the radio earlier, where a 12 year-old girl goes around interviewing people. Last week, we spent £1000 on food to take to the kitchens there. People there were at their wits end, and on seeing the food they went ‘WOOOOHH!’. Their industrial can-opener had broken, but we managed to dash back and buy the last remaining one!”
George “And yes, it is important to bear in mind that if people feel they can do something, it doesn’t have to be something very big. A lot of people feel the same way about the Refugee crisis and want to help, so just organise something locally.”
The event eventually raised £500 , which went toward the purchase of fire extinguishers. They were purchased via this group.
Anyone in or near Cambridge who would like to become involved can contact Lui di Martino, another musician who helps in this effort, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
George, Dan and Lui express their thanks to the performers and supporters. There is more to come.