Helping to house and support refugees

I would like to offer my rental cottage to a small family for the winter. There is only 1 bedroom and I am in rural southwest France which may not be suitable for people needing to find work. I believe that they would get a government stipend to cover utilities. I have contacted one association but not heard back. Any ideas out there of how to help the refugees?

Just want to thank the person who posted some websites and contacts. I followed through and was able to get shoes, clothes, blankets etc to a group who was taking things up to Calais, but that’s all.

Some would say that George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and you own Tony Blair are the ultimate terrorists, but it will be a frosty day in hell before we see them tried in The Hague.

Carol, I have worked with refugees and raised over £10,000 for victims of torture. This does not prevent me from being concerned that the extreme right will be using this horror to promote their message.
In my opinion it was a mistake made by Angela Merkel to open the doors of Germany. This time it appeared that it was the refugees were setting the agenda and not accepting the existing ruless.

It's not just the extreme right Jane - I've believed this personally for a considerable time, having moved here from Malta and seen the rescue operations and recovery of smugglers' boats since 2004.

Carol, I don't need to defend my view. There is no such thing as "zero risk" and the possibility of infiltration to me is obvious but there are also genuine refugees as well as opportunist economic migrants. I have my own personal beliefs about the open door policy and security issues but I try and post in a non-aggressive manner.

Unfortunately the extreme right was already warning of jihadists entering and using genuine refugees as cover.

This is just one 'example' of the thousands that could and will be entering our peaceful democracies (do you honestly believe it may only be this 'one', and defend your view because just possibly, he 'may not' be a refugee?), with the aim of creating fear and chaos. My post is not about the 'possible one', but the 'definite many'.

Carol, the passport you're referring to is still being analysed/authenticated. The details are not yet known.

Not all refugees are good people - and it's naive to believe they are. Extremely horrific and tragic events on Friday night, perpetrated by at least one 'Syrian' refugee, among the other deluded religious barbarians.

I think that you would need to take proper advice about the legal position and occupation of the house. French law really gives huge protection to tenants or occupants of properties and it become difficult or even impossible to get them out if they started to damage the place, or in the winter months. Also think about the position that they may be in a very rural community such as the one I live in and where there are very few shops, transport facilities etc. Regrettable as it is you cannot assume a warm welcome in rural communities either, especially where the "balance" may already be compromised in the views of some. In our village for example thare are already those who have expressed their views that there are too many English here, thus tensions may already exist. I do know that ex Army bases have been requistioned for these purposes and a local larger town near here has agreed to house 16 refugees in a local authority building. There are also tensions about unemployment, taking jobs away from local people etc. It is not an easy subject. We are immigrants as well, and the French should really lead. Your own personal act of charity mu unfortunately turn against you. It's a worrying human trait.

Carol Jenkins, you don’t know me and I find your comment irritating and more than a little callous. No one is asking you to lift a finger, so carry on your merry way.

A wonderful offer Catherine - we actually have a member of this facebook group that has done exactly that - she let a handicapped father and sone stay in her gite for some respite and as a group we all donated to help with costs eg sponsoring a meal, transport.

You could also contact your prefecture offering your gite to help with the crisis . I cannot help in terms of going to the jungle or offering my home but am involved with the 'Socks For Refugees' campaign and also have friends who are going to the Jungle on a monthly basis. I have just contacted my prefecture to offer my help with taking donations to refugees rehomed in centres in my dept and also any translating help. Quite honestly the anti s are making me sick - judging the refugees on hearsay - I see the proof of what the majority,of them are REALLY like every day via the volunteers on the ground not a biased media chain

For Carol:

I believe that the reality of someone's life is driven by their outlook.

I don't think that Catherine was being naive, she decided to take action in response to a humanitarian crisis and contacted an association.

Compassion doesn't necessarily equate to Naivety.

Naive :((

Very admirable of you Catherine!! Here are some links, I hope the associations will get back to you:

Keep us posted!

So sorry, but being a realistic person, I have to say 'Naive'......Don't believe all the hype you're fed. Not all of the refugees (though there are real ones) are as described by the Main Stream Media. There are many African 'economic' migrants, and many Middle Eastern 'economic' migrants. They will not give a jot about you, as they abuse your property and ultimately will be protected against you in the French courts! Think with your head and not your heart....Sorry.

I was involved with refugees from Cambodia in 1970s.
There was no way they would ever be able to return. We volunteers never even considered that.
But, jobs were found, language learned, and as time elapsed we all learned a lot about sharing and caring, arguing and making up. I was privileged to attend the trial of the perpetrators of he genocide, to sit before those criminals and reflect that those tiny children and their siblings who had survived were now wonderful successful citizens of the world. A tale of good defeats evil.
So, I could never do this now, too old myself, but if you have a lot of energy your rewards will be immense. The refugees may not speak your langauge but they are the priceless gifts who have survived hell and will bring value with them.

Yes it is massive and yes just about everyone has a deep desire to see these

people contented and settled.

But the wrong type of help could be more damaging for these people.

The host families are another matter.

Barbara, with every respect … the Syrians who are in France have come a long way. I think traversing our adopted homeland to lodge with whoever is the smallest of their problems. But yes, there are many considerations … it isn't as simple as giving your home to someone for 6 months of the winter, while the gites are sitting empty. It's not as clean as that in the world of a refugees. 6 weeks ago, I started spending time with 12 families who have made it from Syria, across North Africa and up through Spain. The depths of the wounds are unimaginable, for some more than others. This is my first direct experience with this sort of thing and even if I was in a position to offer accommodation, I am not sure I would, unless it was part of a community effort, where at least 5 locals shared the responsibility. There are so many things to overcome for them. Essentially they have been living pretty dysfunctional lives for quite a while. They need time to mentally get strong, learn the language and adapting to life in a foreign culture. It's massive … definitely food for thought …

Teresa I am far from negative or unkind.

Simply realistic!

How will the people get to you.....find their way through France and then

settle in .....perhaps the middle of the country where the culture will be alien...

Let us face it you will have to accept responsibility for these people in many ways.

Find them work and take care of medical needs, feed them, clothe them.

Some of us can barely manage our own lives.

ARE you gallant people really ready and able to do this?

So after winter is over they would have to move on?

I did suggest to a group of musicians of the most prominent

in the world....No not One Direction...I suggested a concert to raise

millions to establish a homebase.

That is what is needed people with power, energy and money to

establish a big improvement.

Please do not judge.