Hello team AforA, I wanted to catch up with an update as it’s been about 8 weeks since this all started and we have achieved so much together.
What started off as a wee thought one Saturday afternoon after seeing the news reports – has now taken on a life of it’s own. The situation in Europe is unchanging – in fact as the winter draws in the living conditions worsen. More and more people are fleeing the war in Syria, in search of a safety for their families.
To date together we have raised on the just giving page the amazing sum of £4,511.19! So, well done team AforA – you are AMAZING!
We have helped Art Refuge UK raise £9,000 of their £10,000 goal – which means their pilot art therapy project can now continue into the winter months as they provide therapy to more and more men, women and children.
“Men continued to use the tent with many familiar faces from previous weeks. Several stayed for a few hours and the map was again used by those keen to share their journey in a way that was manageable and supported by several others bearing witness. In the tent today children made constructions using twigs from the bushes and sand literally dug up from the tent floor.
Extensive outreach across the camp is resulting in the positive development of a possible new collaboration with the Irish-built Women and Children’s tent. Our weekly group for women and children is due to take place there from next week alongside a Medecins du Monde nurse. This new space is fast becoming a safe place for women and children to receive clothes and advice, and find a social space and some respite away from the complexity of camp life.” – Art Refuge UK
We have also raised over £1,600 for Path of Mercy – Human Relief Foundation as they continue their work across Europe providing food, aid, shelter for the refugee’s. The needs are increasing as do the number of people.
END DATE – December 1st 2015
We have done well team AforA – there are still many delightful pieces up for grabs in our Auctions, Affordable Art, Art Sales and raffles. The big news is that I have an end date for the fund raising – December 1st 2015. I wanted to mark my mums 4th anniversary of not being with us with a happy memory of how much we raised when we came together as one big family!
We currently have two stunning Iain McCaig prints up for auction – here. They both open at a steal price of £100 and the auction closes on Sunday 1st Nov at 12 midnight UK time – converter here. There is an absolutely gorgeous Original piece by the talented Timmy Tim still to come and to finish the fund-raising we end with one of our biggest supporters to date – the last of the Ralph Steadman Etchings up for grabs the November 23rd – 29th
Affordable ArtHERE all pieces at £40 We have just added a few more new pieces to the album which will also close on December 1st 2015. Great place to grab yourself some beautiful pieces at amazingly affordable prices! I have quite a few in there – could it be the one you’d like to have hanging on your wall?
Art Sale – coming week (on our FB page) of November 2nd 2015
All pieces are at incredible low prices! This album will also close on Dec 1st 2015. Works donated by Rob Ryan, Mikey Burton, Jon Gray, Allen Williams and more!
Raffle HERE We will have another wee raffle. Each ticket is just £5! and you can win yourself this lovely set of personally signed books written by Robin Stevens and designed by me! The whole set so far!
Cake Sale My eight year old daughter and her friends are holding a cake sale on the 6th November at her school – you could do yours the same day! I don’t know many offices where a cake sale is ignored! Come on all you bakers! You know I am talking to you! Drop me a line on email@example.com and I’ll blog your sale here!
Junior Artist Sale Many of our Junior artist have wanted to get involved, so I am trying to sort out a Junior Artist Sale. If your little ones would like to create a piece of art A4 (no bigger as it will cost you a lot to post) then please send me a JPEG on firstname.lastname@example.org (subject marked Junior Artist) no later than 16th November 2015 – of their piece once they have completed it and I’ll put it up in an album on the FB page. Each piece sold at £5! The Theme for the piece is open
That’s about it folks. So, you see plenty more to buy and help us really keep smashing those team targets and helping others help those who are in need. One random act of kindness – let’s keep going!
The Auction is live again! YAY! We open up with two pieces from my good friend and the wonderfully talented Iain McCaig. Award winning artist and one of the motion picture industry’s leading conceptual designers. His exceptional command of human anatomy, character, emotional expression and visual narrative make him on of the most sought after artists working in the entertainment industry today. He has worked for Lucasfilm as one of the principal designers on:
Star Wars Episode One—The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode Two—Attack of the Clones Star Wars Episode Three—Revenge of the Sith.
and ‘Star Wars—The Force Awakens’
His work includes the creations of ‘the iconic designs for Darth Maul and Queen Amidala’.
His other film credits include: James Cameron’s ‘Terminator II’,
Steven Spielberg’s ‘Hook’,
Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Dracula’,
Neil Jordan’s ‘Interview With the Vampire’,
Sony/Revolution/Universal’s ‘Peter Pan’,
Warner Brothers’‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Marvel Studios ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, as well as Disney’s forthcoming‘The Jungle Book’.
He is also the album cover artist for Jethro Tull’s ‘Broadsword and the Beast’.
The pieces both open at a steal price of £100! To bid on either of these LIMITED EDITION SIGNED pieces go to our FB page – here and place your bids! You’d be crazy to miss this opportunity!
I wanted to take a moment to share my daily newsfeed with you. I’m following or in touch with the AMAZING people working tirelessly in Calais right now. So, I get to see the real news of what is happening on the ground and not what the mainstream media like to interpret as the events. I hope that you will be able to see the same urgency that I can and why I work so hard to raise this money – why I annoy you with e-mails about donations, cake sales and auctions. Winter is coming – it is clear the people in power are not going to help as soon as they need to or are required too. The work on the ground is being done by volunteers – people like you and me – they hope to make a difference in someone else’s life. HOPE – it means a…
A wonderful friend and amazingly talented bespoke Jewellery designer Melanie Muir has generously donated this wonderful “Reggae Necklace” (worth £600/$US930 – which won International Bead Dreams Polymer First Prize last year) to our fundraising cause. To claim your chance of a win simply go to the Justgiving page link HERE Buy a ‘virtual raffle’ ticket by donating £5 – leave a comment ‘Responding to Melanie Muir’ (you can buy as many mutiples of £5 as you like, which will give you more tickets/chances to win). Starting NOW 19th October 2015 and ending at midnight GMT this Thursday 22nd October 2015. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to win an amazing work of art – don’t miss your chance!
See her working her magic in the video below. Thank you Melanie – You are AMAZING!
I wanted to take a moment to share my daily newsfeed with you. I’m following or in touch with the AMAZING people working tirelessly in Calais right now. So, I get to see the real news of what is happening on the ground and not what the mainstream media like to interpret as the events. I hope that you will be able to see the same urgency that I can and why I work so hard to raise this money – why I annoy you with e-mails about donations, cake sales and auctions. Winter is coming – it is clear the people in power are not going to help as soon as they need to or are required too. The work on the ground is being done by volunteers – people like you and me – they hope to make a difference in someone else’s life. HOPE – it means a lot to someone that you care about them … Please help with donations or visit our FB page and buy some art!
20th October 2015
Fears for migrants in France as winter comes to Calais – By David Courbet October 18, 2015 1:49 AM
Calais (France) (AFP) – Winter is coming to France’s port town of Calais, raising fears among aid groups about worsening conditions for the thousands of migrants living in a makeshift camp.
Nighttime temperatures have dropped to around five degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit) in the “New Jungle” camp, located next to the Calais ring road, and will keep falling in the coming months.
The sound of hammers echoes through the camp’s winding slum-like alleys as migrants try to reinforce crude shelters made of wood and salvaged material against the creeping cold.
“I have nothing to insulate it with,” says Abdulilah, an Afghan in his fifties who is building a shack. “I’ll wear an extra sweater provided by the organisations”.
The changing weather and uncertainty surrounding a new crisis centre announced by the government this summer has alarmed the area’s humanitarian organisations.
“We trudge through the mud,” said Francois Guennoc, a camp volunteer with the aid group L’Auberge des Migrants. “There are places where water pools and it gets very difficult.”
“We are buffeted by the wind, the rain, and the cold. It’s even worse than the previous ‘jungles’,” he added.
Since September, illegal crossings to England from the port or the Eurotunnel — they were up to 150 per day in August — have slowed amid tighter security.
But migrants and refugees keep coming and, predictably, the “New Jungle” has swelled.
The number of residents is now estimated to hover between 4,000 and 6,000 people, up from 2,500 in early June.
“We are on the brink of collapse,” said Jean-Francois Corty, head of the French division of Doctors Without Borders. “The social welfare system is inadequate and so are the delays to process asylum applications”.
“It is unacceptable for a country, the sixth biggest world economic power, to support that,” he added.
Another volunteer, from the SALAM charity organisation who preferred to stay anonymous, went so far as to invoke a “concentration camp”.
S Louise – Volunteer Calais
So as the fog of exhaustion has lifted from 27 hours up on an aid convoy to Calais I wanted to share with you all my own personal experience.
The ‘jungle’ is grim, its wet, muddy and squalid. There are tents as far as the eye can see and make shift shacks which have a variety of purposes, some are churches, mosques, first aid, and small restaurants where they club together food from the aid parcels to cook and share together. Some sit together in the evenings to share their food. Everyone is there for a common purpose and they support each other.There are a few stand pipes of water but I believe it’s not for drinking it still needs to be boiled down but people que a take turns without incident.
The camp is on a flood plain so is often very wet and flooded. There is row after row of tents, big and small many damaged with tarp helping keep them somewhat water tight. We are up to our ankles in mud the majority of the time and with wellies it’s manageable just about to walk about. But many of the people I saw were wearing flipflops some wear odd shoes and one young boy of around 10 wearing a flip-flop on one foot and and ill fitting trainer on the other.
There are many women and children there, more than I had expected. The first person I met in the camp was a young woman called Mimi. She was 6 months pregnant. She tapped on our van window desperate for drinking water. She told me how she fled Syria after her brothers and mother were killed by ISIS and she left with her son and husband to find safety. Somewhere in Sudan she ended up separated from them. She has no idea where they are or if she will ever find them again. She walked here across many countries wearing flip-flops and just the clothes on her back. She has been there 3 months and hopes to come to England because we are ‘kind people’ who can help her find work. She was so kind and even worried about me getting wet as it was raining hard. She kept fussing about my hood covering my hair telling me I would get wet and cold. I cried, gave her my shoes, a jacket some water and a hug. She told me how she will most likely give birth in the camp, she won’t get much if any support medically. I will never forget her and pray she makes it to safety very soon.
12th October 2015 – 23 hours ago – A Giuliano
This is me helping a baby and their father get to a drier place after a long night of heavy rain, long blackouts AND ALMOST TOTAL LACK OF MEDICAL AID AND EFFECTIVE USAGE OF RESOURCES FROM LOCAL AUTHORITIES (E.G. pOLICE – small P absolutely intended!) in Preševo.
SOME CHILDREN ALMOST DROWNED in tents while their parents were desperately trying to seek for help from the police, and afterwards, when these children were developing hypothermia, there were ABSOLUTELY NO DOCTORS to take care of them, and the police (controlling the entrance to the registration camp where doctors are available) KICKED OUT the volunteers who were bringing half naked, trembling and purple-lipped children to the only medical facility available (at the registration camp) because “stay in the line and queue like everyone else”.
The ONLY medical aid outside the registration camp is Humedica, consisting of 3 doctors who work for 4 ridiculous hours a day or so – NOT KIDDING. Furthermore, the registration center decided to close between 3am and 7am, creating a huge line of several hundreds of people left waiting either in the mud or in the water, sometimes LITERALLY up to their knees!
Somehow I feel like everybody, ESPECIALLY THE EU, are expecting us, activists and volunteers, to take care of situations THEY should be solving instead of always acting at the very last minute only because they can no longer ignore the problem in front of their faces. THIS IS A SHAME.
14 hours ago – S Amin
I stepped off the mini bus as I entered the Calais camp knows as the Jungle.
A young Iraqi boy caught my eye, he was walking in this camp that was so unfit for human life. I imagined my own daughter in his place, what would I have done if my daughter was in his place?
I approached his father, an engineer from Iraq, I asked him how he was, what he wanted. He replied “I just want roof for my boy, and food”
Words I have never heard before from a fellow human, how can I hear these words when I have lived a life of relative comfort. But to hear these words made me realise how truly tragic it is for a father to feel so helpless that he doesn’t have the basic necessities to feed his child.
He was once an engineer, today he finds himself in an alien camp… What crime did he commit but to live in a land that has become war ravaged. That was his only crime…. A crime I say…a crime.
2 hours ago – A Thompson Is there any way to support some of the young people in the camp more individually? I can’t stop thinking about a boy we have befriended on both our visits now. He’s only 14 and there on his own and it breaks my heart to think of him trying to get on the trains every night. If there was a way I would happily bring him over and support him, financially and emotionally but given that’s probably not possible, is there any way to help individuals while they are there?
BBC Magazine – By Eloise Dicker
Syrians leaving their homes for the safety of Europe often rely on people smugglers to help them reach their destination. But it’s impossible to know who to trust and things can go wrong. One woman ended up seeing a man, whose real name she didn’t even know, walk off with her one-year-old daughter.
Zizit knew she had to leave Syria when she became a target for snipers and a bullet hit her car.
She had taken a job as a doctor in a hospital in Damascus where an Islamic militant group approached her and demanded that she go and work for them. When she refused, the death threats started.
“They tried to kill me twice,” she says. Afraid for her one-year-old daughter, Maya, Zizit decided she had no choice but to leave. “I was not happy to leave Syria, I love my country. I left for my baby, not for myself.”
Zizit and her brother Ghassan took Maya to Turkey. The first smuggler they met promised to take them to Greece over land for $13,500 – they paid up front and waited for him to collect them from a hotel. But after a few days they realised he wasn’t coming back.
They then turned to another smuggler who sold them a place on a small inflatable dinghy. After a traumatic journey in the middle of a storm they reached Greece – their boat bursting when it was dashed against the rocks on arrival. Read more about Zizit’s harrowing story here
Hands up who is going to put the heating on when they get home tonight? £500 for a heavily discounted rare piece of art kindly donated by a critically acclaimed artist = keeping 19 families warm this winter.
They may not be able to thank you personally – but that is the joy of random acts of kindness! Just knowing that you have made a difference in someone else’s life fills you with joy – no? Take a look at how else you could make the difference with your bids and donations…
Help us help others with a small donation or go to our FB page and bid on a piece of art. Thank you!
Ralph Steadman has kindly donated 3 beautiful and very rare etchings for our AforA auction. They are priced at double the auction price in the Gallery! One has already been snapped up, so two remain. We will be putting another up this Friday – so be ready with your bids, this really is a once in a life time chance to own a limited edition Ralph Steadman etching at half the price! With all the money going to a very good cause.
Ralph also kindly recorded this message so we could share it with you all. Please dig deep and help us help others. Thank you Ralph Steadman. Please dig deep if you don’t want to bid or purchase art, any amount is welcome. You can visit our Just Giving page here – it is safe and completely secure.