the jungle

Food for All Team Enters the belly of Beast in Calais

On October 21, FFL Global affiliate, Food for All (FFA) set off from ISKCON’s Bhaktivedanta Manor in England with two vehicles loaded with food supplies and provisions such as sleeping bags, tents, and clothes, etc. to a place called “the jungle,” just outside of Calais in France, where some 6,000 refugees were struggling to survive in the worst conditions imagable. After a short ferry crossing, the volunteers arrived at the refugee camp only to find mud everywhere, heavy rain and people wandering around aimlessly, desperation painted on their faces. “Within seconds of arriving, we realised the situation was much worse than we expected,” explained director of FFA, Peter O’Grady (Parasuram das). “Many people had been living at the camp for 3 months or more. There were about a dozen portable toilets, but no showers, communal buildings, or kitchens for people to prepare meals. We saw someone trying to cook some porridge on an open fire,” said O’Grady. “One would expect at a refugee camp as large as this, that someone would be in charge, or for there to be at least some kind of order, but no, not here in “the jungle.” It was basically chaos from wall to wall. So we just drove straight down through the water and mud into the belly of the beast and took immediate action. “It was a little scary to be honest. There were hundreds of desperate people surrounded our van. The first task was to get people to make a queue, which needed all hands on deck, and our team sprung to action. But soon we were distributing delicious hot rice, vegetable stew, cake, apple pie, apples and oranges. The volunteers were serving meals as fast as they could to keep the crowd satisfied, lest a volatile situation arise. “Many had gone without a bath for months. […]