Published: 13:00, 10 October 2015 |
Updated: 14:11, 10 October 2015
Five friends who inspired thousands of people to help refugees in Calais are now reaching out to families fleeing to other parts of Europe.
In August, we reported that Jaz O’Hara, Dan Teuma, Fin O’Hara, Ruby Gilmour and Jess Johnson, from Five Oak Green near Tonbridge, were collecting donations of food, clothing, bedding and other items and making regular trips to the camp known as The Jungle.
Now, with more organisations helping in the camp, the friends are turning their attention to Hungary and Croatia with Greece next on the agenda.
Jaz, 25, said: “Hungary and Croatia were very different to Calais. A lot of people were passing through rather than staying. There were more women and children and a lot of the refugees were from Syria whereas most of those in France are from Sudan, Afghanistan and Eritrea.
“The people are peaceful and don’t want chaos but they’re desperate. The police are there in full riot gear and they’re using tear gas. I saw babies and children with sore, red eyes.
“But the thing we found most similar in all situations was how hospitable and kind the people were to us and how positive they’re remaining in these situations.”
The original group of five has been joined by more volunteers and has split its focus in two.
CalAid, which now has branches across the UK, will focus on humanitarian aid, while The Worldwide Tribe hopes to tell refugees’ stories through a documentary. Jaz said the group saw a change in public attitudes to refugees after a photo appeared in national newspapers of three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi’s body washed up on a Turkish beach.
She said: “We still hear some nasty comments but I think that picture made most people realise what a desperate situation people are facing.”
The friends have sufficient items and are now asking for financial donations to cover transport and legal costs as they start to register CalAid as a charity and have already raised more than £160,000.
To donate click here and search CalAid and The Worldwide Tribe on Facebook to follow progress.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.