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What refugees experience ...

2 Dec 2022

Winter is the hardest time of year for refugees especially those that are still sleeping outside. Every year we send clothing and blankets to those without shelter both here and further afield.

So this December in addition to our standard food requests we are collecting men's clothes, blankets and tents.

Our food list is attached along with a list of the collection points where you can drop off your contributions.

Please give generously or if you prefer donate on our website using the button below.

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25 Nov 2022

Delivering help to Refugees in Vintimille. 

2 of our LSR volunteers delivered a car load of clothing to the Boutik Fraternelle at Menton. There is a real need for clothing (mens) and blankets at Ventimille. We will be launching an appeal in the next week. 

19 Oct 2022

Operation Vélos II

Having a bike can make a real difference to the lives of refugees giving them autonomy and the ability to get around the towns where they live without having to pay. We launched an appeal at the end of September to try and find 20 or so bikes and within 2 weeks we were offered 50! Thanks everyone for your support we are getting round to everyone as fast as we can and have already delivered bikes to La Cimade in Beziers , to the MNA (Mineurs non-accompagné) in Pézenas, and to LSR Aude in Carcassonne.

22 Sep 2022

Visa pour l'image 2022. Perpignan

Visa pour l'image, international festival of photojournalism, in Perpignan, 2022 edition. Numerous exhibitions in places that have become mythical, the Convent of the Minimes,the Dominican Church, the Palais des Corts, the Hotel Pams, etc.
We see all the horrors of the world and we come out shaken.
More and more concerned by the distress of refugees in the world, in France and in our region, very close to us, I was particularly  sensitive to the exhibition of Sameer Al-Doumy that I had the chance to meet in Perpignan.
 Syrian photographer, winner of the Visa of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) 2022  for his reportage made between August 2020 and May 2022 which highlights the  migratory crisis in the north of France. After years of transit through countless countries, many migrants who have run away from the war or natural disasters find themselves in Calais.

They  spend weeks in makeshift camps on the French coast, hoping to reach their final destination, the United Kingdom.
Sameer does not forget that he himself has lived the life of a refugee.
Check out his website.
Pascal T.

24 Jun 2022

Mobilising Support - a recent example

On the morning of Tuesday 14 June, Roger, from La Cimade in Narbonne, and I accompanied Yacou and two other migrants who had been summoned to the prefecture of Carcassonne. The other two quickly obtained (that day!) their residence permit. Then, Yacou is called to go to a counter. Roger accompanies him. Then he calls me: Yacou has just received an Obligation de Quitter le Territoire Français and IRTF for two years, without delay, with a 45-day house arrest, confiscation of his passport, a ban on leaving the limits of the commune of Narbonne and the obligation to report to the police station every day at 3pm.

All three of us are in shock. For us, Yacou's application for regularisation of exceptional admission to residence submitted to the prefecture a year earlier should have led to him obtaining a residence permit: he had responded to all the administration's requests in this regard.

As soon as we returned to Narbonne, we looked for a lawyer in Montpellier who was competent in foreigners' rights, who accepted legal aid and who was available to lodge an appeal with the administrative court within 48 hours.  Me Kouahou will fulfil this mission.

Legal action and popular action

We had to define a strategy in parallel: we promised Yacou that we would mobilise publicly if he did not obtain a residence permit. We choose never to let Yacou go alone to the police station, because we fear his arrest and deportation to the Ivory Coast where he was born. Yacou makes a few phone calls to relatives. At 2.50pm, 11 of us are in front of the police station.

Clara creates a support page for Yacou and his son Momo. We will publish every day the photo of the people present with him in front of the police station.

We are also planning a big rally on Saturday at 2pm in front of the sub-prefecture. Yacou has endeared himself to many people since his arrival in Narbonne in 2019. And so has his son Mohammed. He is 12 years old and attends the Cité secondary school, after two years at the Jean-Jaurès school, plays football at FUN, and attends the leisure centres of La Maison des Potes and the town of Narbonne. So many places and people to warn.

We declare the Saturday gathering at the Narbonne sub-prefecture and we take advantage of it to ask for a meeting with the sub-prefect in the name of La Cimade de Narbonne, the Accueil Migrant-es du Narbonnais collective and 100 pour 1 toit du Narbonnais. Political figures were called upon and approached the prefecture.

The different faces of the Aude

Léo and Claudine contacted the Réseau Éducation Sans Frontière to set up an online petition. It will exceed 600 signatures in three days.

Yacou arrived in France in 2011, when the civil war in Côte d'Ivoire put him in danger. He has never really considered his life outside of France since, even though this country has never given him a residence permit. At the end of 2016, he managed to bring his son Mohammed to France. The latter has been continuously attending school in France since January 2017. He will never see his mother again, who died of illness (and lack of access to care) in Côte d'Ivoire.

The mobilisation in favour of Yacou and Momo has been rapid, multiple and growing. Faced with this mobilisation and the appeal of our lawyer within 48 hours of the refusal of the prefecture with an OQTF, a two-year ban on returning to the territory and house arrest, the prefecture of Aude suspended its decisions against Yacou. And on Friday 17 June in the middle of the afternoon, the prefect summons Yacou for a new meeting on 27 June: he will have a residence permit!

We then decided to maintain the rally the next day at 2pm in front of the sub-prefecture to celebrate this moment and show our determination to support the rights of exiled people, wherever they come from: the call was relayed by so many people! More than two hundred people are here, despite the heat wave. The Aude showed a beautiful face of solidarity on 18 June, the day before the disastrous election of three deputies from the national rally.

For Yacou and Momo, a normal life is finally beginning. For all those who are driven by the values of solidarity and equality, this rapid and intensive struggle should inspire us to face the challenges ahead!

 

26 Jul 2022
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