What refugees experience ...
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.
Bikes fot refugees in Carcassonne
We have recently given 6 reconditioned bikes to refugees in Carcassonne and Limoux. 4 new bikes are in preparation.
We heard today that Amadou’s future had already been decided in his absence and without counsel on the 13th December. His appeal has been rejected and the OQTF stands. I’m not sure what happens next for this young man but it is not good news. It appears there has been a hardening around residency rules of late; where before after living responsably and being imbedded in a community for 5 years meant that “régularisation” was highly likely, now it appears no longer to be the case. This is going to be hugely problematic moving forward.
Amadou, a young Guinean migrant is threatened with an OQTF (obligation to leave French territory).
Last August,we asked you to sign a petition to support the appeal against Amadou's OQTF. Amadou's hearing takes place on Tuesday 10 January in Montpellier. Maître Ruffel, who is handling the case, thinks the presence of many supporters of Amadou could perhaps influence the decision of the Court!
If you have a few hours to spare on Tuesday, this is your chance to try and make a difference and change a young man's life.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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!