Havant and South Downs College students donate care parcels to Moria refugee camp destroyed by fire

COLLEGE students have been donating support packages to refugees displaced by a fire in the Moria refugee camp in Greece.

By Neil Fatkin
Thursday, 8th October 2020, 11:00 am
Karen Griffiths, left, and Abi Summers from Havant and South Downs College who co-ordinated production of the support parcels.
Karen Griffiths, left, and Abi Summers from Havant and South Downs College who co-ordinated production of the support parcels.

The blaze which struck the Lesbos camp last month has left nearly 13,000 people without shelter. More than 70 per cent of the inhabitants are from Afghanistan, having fled their homeland due to fears of violence and conflict.

Youngsters from Havant and South Downs College have been joined by staff in putting together donations of nappies, washable masks and toiletries such as toothpaste and shampoo. Some of the care parcels will also be sent to refugee camps in Northern France.

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An example of the care parcels for refugees put together by students and staff at Havant and South Downs College.

The parcels have been organised in conjunction with local volunteer-led community group, Portsmouth Cares, with the first set of donations having been shipped out on Sunday, October 4.

The donations were coordinated by HSDC tutorial programme and enrichment coordinator, Karen Griffiths, who said: ‘I've been a volunteer, fundraiser and distributor for refugees in Northern France for some time now and have seen the terrible conditions they live in.

‘The fire in Moria Camp will mean times are even harder for those already living in appalling conditions - even the smallest donation will help. I'm very proud of the college for joining in with this.’

HSDC community engagement manager, Abi Summers, who helped organise the donation boxes on the South Downs and Havant campuses, added: ‘I wanted to donate because so often in our daily lives we take things for granted and it’s been an incredibly hard year for the whole world, so anything I could do to help maybe just one person felt right.

‘I felt an odd but lovely sense of connection thinking these items are going from me directly to someone in need. In a time where everything feels very tough, any little thing we can do to help another human is wonderful.’

With the winter approaching, the college now plans to send a second set of aid packages containing sleeping bags, blankets and tents as well as clothing.

Information on how to support the cause and donate items can be found on the Portsmouth Care’s Facebook page.

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