Sue presented Ben Jenkins with a donation and a small gift following his informative talk on the work of the British Red Cross (BRC) covering Kent and Sussex, that relates to work as a club we have been undertaking on modern slavery.
Ben who is the BRC Service Manager for Refugee Support stated that in 2017 there were 26,350 asylum applications, of which 14,767 were successful of which 5866 were children under the age of 18. He quoted from a poem called Home by Warsan Shire, a female British Somali poet:
No one leaves home unless
Home is the mouth of a shark
You only run for the border
When you see the whole city running as well
BRC uses 1 to 1 casework to thoroughly explore the situation of individual asylum seekers and gives information to advocates acting on their behalf, liaising with other charities.
Last year BRC in Kent looked after 250 young people. Kent has a large number of asylum seekers because of the ports of entry at Dover and Folkestone. As an organisation BRC refuse to ignore people who are in crisis and acknowledges getting to dry land is only the beginning of their journey. BRC offer support to asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants of all ages.
BRC also deals with victims of modern day slavery which is classified as ‘the action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another, typically for the purposes of forced labour or commercial sexual exploitation’.
BRC also have three camper vans based in Gravesend, Margate and Maidstone which come out in crisis situations to give shelter and help to people who are forced out of their homes by fire or other emergency. These are available at all hours the whole year round.
The International Red Cross does International Family Tracking for people displaced by war, national disaster or migration and the hub of this is in Geneva. They may be able to help with Family Reunion and can sometimes give travel assistance for this.