‘Four days of madness’


Last updated:

Clement Hodgkinson, an IB student from Parkside Community College in Cambridge, UK, spent part of his summer holiday helping refugees arriving in Calais, France. He is documenting the struggles of refugees for others to better understand their situation.

Hodgkinson spent four days distributing food, applying first aid, handing out clothes, and collecting wood for construction and fires. Spending long working days meeting refugees who had gone through traumatic experiences made a deep impression on him:

“The people […] are so generous that they offer me their food when they already have so little. We talk, laugh and feel as if we have known each other for months not days, some hug me, others cry in my arms. Emotionally I'm scattered.“

Volunteering at Calais is a part of his IB extended essay project, but after experiencing the reality of the refugees in the camp, Hodgkinson now feels the need to do more.

“I spent a short four days in the camp, yet it feels like four weeks and I feel like I have known the people I interacted with for my whole life. How can I expect to return to normality?” he said.

The student aims to launch a project to build long term winter housing at the camp. “The reality of this situation is that it will not be over any time soon, and certainly not until international governments work together to solve issues found within the original countries that the people are migrating from,” he added.

Read the full article on the Cambridge News website.