At the end of May, the Waging Peace team will be heading to Calais in France, where thousands of refugees from conflicts worldwide live in squalid conditions, prepared to risk their lives in hope of a better life. Refugees from Sudan form up to a fifth of the camp’s population – many are underage, unaccompanied and afraid, having fled the ongoing violence in the country’s conflict zones in Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile state.
We’ll be accompanying Mukesh Kapila, the former UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sudan from February 2003 to April 2004. He blew the whistle on the genocide he saw unfolding in the Darfur region during his tenure, losing his job in the process.
We’re going to raise awareness of the multiple and protracted humanitarian crises in Sudan that are now causing a humanitarian crisis on our doorstep. For Mukesh, it will be a chance to meet some of the people who fled the first waves of violence he spoke out about in the early 2000s, many of whom will only just have made it to Europe.
We’d like to offer the Sudanese in Calais a message of solidarity and support from the UK, so are asking you to send us a short (ideally around 30 seconds) video clip of yourself, in English or Arabic, that we can play to the people we meet in the camp.
We’re quite clear that this shouldn’t encourage people to make the dangerous, and sometimes fatal, journey across the Channel, but should let them know they are not alone, offering hope, solidarity and a sense of our common humanity for those trapped in the camp’s bleak environment, stuck dreaming of safety and a brighter future.
If you’d like to send us a clip, it’d be great if you could film yourself in a quiet room with a neutral background, and make sure you’re filming in landscape and not portrait if you’re using your phone. Send the finished clips to Sonja on firstname.lastname@example.org, or use a service like WeTransfer if they’re too large.
We’d also encourage you to share them directly online if you feel comfortable doing so, either on our Facebook page, or by tweeting using our handle @WagingPeaceUK, also including the hashtags #SudanSolidarity & #Calais.
Because our trip is approaching fast, we’ll need these videos no later than 6pm next Friday 13 May.
We’d like to upload the finished video to our website as well, so please let us know ahead of time if you would not like your video made public and only want it shown to the individuals we meet in the camp.
Thank you for taking the time to show your solidarity with the Sudanese in Calais.
– Olivia, Maddy and Sonja