Calais to Coventry

After going to the Calais regugee camp several times in the last year I wanted to get involved in a more sustainable way. So I’ve been helping out at some of the ESOL classes at the Jesus Centre. I’ve enjoyed it but I’ve recently become a lot more aware of how important they really are.

When I was at the Calais camp I met many people who were desperate to start a new life in a safe country. One of the guys I met there recently contacted me to let me know he had made it to England! I remembered that he had a brother living in Coventry so when he arrived here we all met up. It was wonderful to see him safe and he was so happy. In his halting, pigeon English he tried to explain to me how the scarring up his side had been caused. Some of the ruling ethnic group dragged him along behind a car. He wasn’t one of them. That was his crime. He new he couldn’t stay and so, after a dangerous and uncertain journey, he has finaly made it to the safe and new life he has longed for.

But with such a limited amount of English how will he create that new life? When you know someone who is desperate to work and can’t due to the language barrier you suddenly see how vital our free ESOL classes are. Not only are they a way to meet others but they provide the all important skills of communication to help the dream of a safe and new life become a reality. I’m so glad I can do my small little bit to help it along.

(If you are interested in supporting these classes as a volunteer please contact  Coventry Jesus Centre 02476 550033 or

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