Amongst the walls of a refugee camp


Caroline Cardoso

In Calais, France, the makeshift camp known as “The Jungle,” that was housing 6,300 migrants, was torched by departing migrants when they were forced to evacuate by French authorities. The camp turned into skeleton-like hulks in the northern France city. As the fire built up, the camp became more dangerous and had small explosions from gas tanks and trucks on the site, while migrants watched the camp burn to a crisp. Crew workers helped to clean up the debris from the fires set by migrants by protesting the evacuation and have been attempting to replenish the landscape that was destroyed in the fires.

Regardless of the fire burning down the camp, migrants were still more concerned and hurt by the fact that the need to be evacuated to begin with. According to Ahmed Anwar, a 28-year-old from Sudan living in the Jungle took it to heart that authorities were going to force them out of the camp after months of living there.

“I’m very sad. It’s our home here,” said Anwar. “We can’t feel anything, even life; no one cares about us.”

According to, authorities they had to relocate about half of the migrants who had been living in the Jungle, and even more after the fire was started. The French Interior Ministry, Bernard Cazeneuve, reported most 230 minors were transferred to the United Kingdom and hundreds more were screened in Calais to see whether or not the would be transferred to the U.K. or to French shelters instead. Most of the migrants do not even know where they will be going or when.

“They said they will take me to England, but I don’t know when,” Berihu Gidey, a 14-year-old Eritrean boy who had been living in the camp for around a month alone told The Wall Street Journal.

“For those not being ‘transferrry’, and I’ll be on the road again,” said Togo. “I have a dream and it’s to go to the U.K.”

Meanwhile, 32 Sudanese and one Afghan migrant arrived from Calais to a reception and orientation center in Chatellerault, in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region after the evacuation of the camp. According to local media in the region, they have been mostly welcoming of the migrants being evacuated from Calais.

There have also been reports of migrants arriving in Paris as well as Chatellerault. Police have been trying to clear out the Paris streets as migrants camped on sidewalks for a number of weeks. Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris wrote in a statement to the national government that theed to the U.K., migrants staying in France will be facing the challenge of being in a country and not knowing the language. Many of the migrants staying in France will be living in towns that have been protesting the transfer of migrants to France since the beginning. According to Adam Togo, a 26-year-old from the Darfur region of Sudan who had been living in the Jungle for almost six months before being evacuated, has decided he no longer wants to be in France.

“I was on the road in my count migrants’ “desperate humanitarian and sanitary situation,” urging it to do something immediately. She also stated that she intends to open a temporary shelter in the 18th Arrondissement for those still in search of somewhere to stay; however, the French authorities are not as welcoming as Paris mayor Hidalgo.

“There’s been no will to help,” Baptiste Pelletan, of BAAM, said about the migrants. “A lot of them are sick and cold,” Pelletan said. “There’s a total denial of the problem, a denial of responsibility. Paris is hardly a ‘city of refuge.’ ”