A Huddersfield family, who led a mercy mission for refugees stranded in Calais, are set to return to the ‘jungle’.
Abid Pervez, his wife Nazreen and his uncle Naseem Sarwar, are expected to return to Calais on Friday to give the refugees an Eid worthy of celebration.
They travelled to France to transport aid which had been donated to the family at their Marsh home after an appeal. The donated goods incldued clothing, blankets and hosuehold goods.
Mr Pervez, who led a convoy of relief vehicles, told the Examiner about heartbreaking scenes at the improvised camp which has become a temporary home to refugees fleeing persecution in Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan and other war zones.
He said: “It’s a desperate situation. We have all these luxuries and they’re in a hand-to-mouth situation.
“It hurt the heart to see. It’s overwhelming and you think: ‘Why is this happening?’
“We saw people from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Sudan.
“The Syrians had fled from their country because everything had been bombed. They just want a better life.”
But far from being put off from returning, the family will be back to the ‘jungle’ later this week with food for an Eid meal which will be shared among Muslims and non-Muslims.
The family is hoping to take rice, lamb, onions and spices.
Mr Pervez said: “Eid is a time to share everything. At Bakr-Eid (also known at Eid al-Adha) there’s the sacrifice of lambs and the sharing of food. That’s the reason why we’re going.”
Mr Pervez, of Marsh, was keen to debunk the benefits migration myth.
He said: “There weren’t a lot of people who said they wanted to come to the UK for the benefits. They said they wanted to come for a better life.
“Some of them wanted to stay in France; it was whichever country would help them because they were in fear for their lives.
“You have to put politics and propaganda aside and put yourself in their position – like not being able to feed your child and getting ill from hunger.”
Mr Pervez added: “The refugees were very nice and very thankful for our community’s support.”
Find out more about the Pervez family’s mercy mission by visiting: www.facebook.com/CalaisRefugeeAid .