More than 45,000 unaccompanied children have arrived in Europe in the last 18 months. These children are living homeless in cities all over Europe, they are hungry, cold and alone. Because they are vulnerable, they are often preyed upon by people smugglers, child traffickers and armed gangs. They have left their homes to flee atrocities, war, persecution, and repression. Where are they all now? Nobody knows. But let’s not forget they came to Europe seeking safety.This is where we come in.
The COMIE Safety Network is the result of two years direct work with unaccompanied refugee children in Calais and Ventimiglia. We worked with children between 8 to 17 years -all of whom were alone. As a direct result of our work with these children, they were able to engage with a trusted adult and service. For many this was the first time on their journey.
Our work has helped over 400 unaccompanied children find a bed, food, a mobile phone to call a distant relative and where necessary medical care.
COMIE will provide a safety network in four locations where these children congregate; Brussels, Calais, Paris and Ventimiglia. We liaise with trusted services in each city to ensure the children are better safeguarded. With the child’s consent we pass on details and make sure there is someone who cares waiting for them when they reach the next city. And when kids don’t turn up, we’re the only people who know this and who report it to the authorities. Without us, these children simply disappear.
We have been developing an app that will connect our partners to ensure the safety of the children as they move. It’ll make sure they have access to support services as well as a trusted adult, who will be monitoring them. It’ll train new members of the team, so we can help more children.
We need your help to get this project off the ground and for it to survive.
HOW TO HELP
We have now reached a critical point and in order to continue our ground-breaking work we need funding.
The next phase of the project will cost £20,000.
We’d be grateful for anything you can give to support COMIE which will support these vulnerable children.