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Dublin: 5°C Wednesday 25 November 2020
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Charity asks people to STOP donating items for refugees as they're inundated

People have donated over €80,000 and thousands of items.

A CHARITY COLLECTING items for a refugee camp in Calais have called on people to stop donating.

Ireland Calais Refugee Solidarity, (formerly Cork to Calais) said its depots are full and the volunteers are “working day and night to sort what has been donated”.

Source: Rachael O'Sullivan/YouTube

Group founder Tracey Ryan said the charity’s 70 depots are packed, as are three articulated lorries.

We can no longer afford to fund the transportation of these donations internally throughout Ireland, as the Gofundme donations are being used just for supplies and our warehouses are filled to capacity.

The group is now concentrating on effectively delivering what has been collected, and improving shelter and fuel supplies in the refugee camp as winter approaches.

11960209_397988346992342_396483061828732319_n One of the donation centres. Source: Facebook

“We are putting together a list of suggested charities that we are going to work with and that we hope you can work with as well. Thank you so much for your work so far and we really hope you can work with us and help redirect these extra resources to other groups that can absorb them,” Ryan said.

The convoy is due to leave Ireland on Thursday. It has also grown from two vans and a cash donation target of €400 to three trucks, six vans, a medical team and 60 volunteers.

Online donations to the group via GoFundMe have now reached over €83,000 and the amount from the countrywide local fundraisers has not yet been tallied.

Ireland Refugee Solidarity will distribute the donated items – which include warm clothes, tents, sleeping bags, shoes and toiletries – through French aid organisation L’auberge des migrants.

Register of Solidarity

Also today the Irish Red Cross launched an online register to manage the thousands of public offers of support for refugees coming to Ireland in the months and years ahead.

Thousands of pledges have been made to organisations and state bodies this year but data protection rights mean these offers cannot be transferred directly to Irish Red Cross.

girl A Syrian child at a refugee camp. Source: PA

The database was created following consultation with the Department of Justice.

It will profile pledges to match the needs of refugees leaving the government-run reception centres to be established under the Protection of Refugees Programme.

John Roche, Irish Red Cross head of national and international services, said: “We are asking for public understanding in helping us honour this request by re-registering pledges made elsewhere on our website.

Anyone making a pledge can be assured that their personal information will not be shared with State bodies or anyone else. If a pledge is being pursued, then we make contact to get consent to supply necessary information to relevant parties.

The database can be accessed here.

Read: Banksy’s theme park taken apart to build refugee shelters

Read: Mark Zuckerberg and Bono want to bring the internet to refugee camps

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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