Jacobs Well is launching an urgent appeal for warm clothing to send to refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria. This year, over 10 000 people have left Syria every day, according to the UNHCR, often setting out on foot and walking thousands of miles through the rain and the snow in the hope of finding safety in countries like Germany and Sweden. Many of these refugees pass through Macedonia, which is where Jacob’s Well is seeking to help them. Macedonia is a small country (slightly bigger than Wales) with a population of 2 million people. However it is desperately poor, with 37% of the working population unemployed. They are unable to provide for these refugees without outside help. The winters are wet, windy and cold with heavy snow. The temperature in January can plummet to-20C.
On the long road to Europe, syrian refugees sleep wherever they can find shelter
Jacob’s Well is planning to help the refugees get through the winter by sending out several tons of warm clothing and blankets. “It is pitiful to hear the plight of these refugees”, says John Beynon, Jacob’s Well’s CEO. “Most of them have been walking for weeks, sleeping outside, just living in the clothes that they can carry. Parents are carrying small children on their backs, and so can hardly take anything in the way of changes of clothing or warm bedding for sleeping outside in the winter. We heard about one mother who was carrying her handicapped child on her back. He was 12 years and quite heavy, but because he suffered from cerebral paralysis he was unable to walk, and the mother was unwilling to leave him behind in Syria. It is a terrible situation. I know that many people feel strongly that we shouldn’t encourage any more migrants to come to this country. But that shouldn’t prevent us from helping them where they are. Imagine how you would feel if you had been forced to leave your home because the conflict had made it too dangerous to stay. If you were walking through the winter with your family, camping out in fields on a night, I am sure that you would be very happy if someone gave you some gloves, blankets and warm clothes to help you get by.”
“We plan to send a consignment of several tons of warm clothes and blankets to Macedonia in January. If you could help us by donating bedding, warm clothing, coats, hats, gloves, scarves or socks, for children as well as for adults, we would be very grateful. Our aid will be distributed to the refugees in Macedonia by an organisation called Macedonian Mission to the Balkans. They have full time staff on the ground who are working to help the thousands of migrants that are passing through.
Please bring any donations of clothing to the Jacob’s Well warehouse, on Swinemoor Lane, Beverley or to any of our shops, in Beverley, Bridlington or Withernsea. from the 4th of January 2016.
Jacob’s Well loads a lorry full of warm clothing to help people get through the harsh winter