British popstar Lily Allen recently visited Calais refugee camp to witness the conditions of the refugees and offer her help. The views on her visit are polarized because she said amongst other things, ‘‘I apologise on behalf of my country. I’m sorry for what we have put you through” to a 13-year-old-Afghan refugee.
— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) October 12, 2016
Then the 31-year-old singer broke down in tears during her interview with the 13-year-old Afghan boy who is trying to secure his safe passage to England via the tunnel of Calais. He is eligible to leave France as his father is already in Birmingham but the paperwork is taking time causing him and his family much despair. His attempts to illegally leave the country have also been unsuccessful so far.
As mentioned earlier, Lily Allen`s the apologies to the young man on behalf of the UK and her comments about her country’s foreign policies in Afghanistan aren’t shared by many of her compatriots. These parties don’t appreciate the popstar speaking on their behalf or even criticizing her country’s actions. Some even bring the possibility that she is doing this to help her singing career. Her reply to the hateful attention she’s getting shows that she’s not concerned with what they have to say.
I don't need your permission to say sorry to a 13 year old boy for the devastating impact our country has had on his life. You weren't there https://t.co/NyB6gdcwVU
— lily allen (@lilyallen) October 12, 2016
At the same time, many around the world applaud her humanitarian efforts.
.@lilyallen tnx you for your support of refugees, expressing care for those at the wrong end of an unjust socially unequal global society.
— nigel pugh (@nspugh) October 13, 2016
Something needs to be done and Allen’s privileges no matter how small or big can make a difference. Why? Because French President Francois Hollande has declared that the Calais camp dubbed ‘The Jungle’ will be closed before this 2016 Winter. The refugee crisis in Europe is a societal issue that demands immediate attention and at least she is doing something about it.
Having said that, it’s not the first time that refugee camps in these parts of Calais have been dismantled by members of the French government to oust its inhabitants. It has occurred several times before. While other camps will certainly sprout from the closure of the camp the popstar visited, what’s more imperative is a final, humane solution to the refugee crisis once and for all.
Allen’s trip which was facilitated by Help Refugees, a humanitarian charity working to raise awareness to the refugee problem in Europe. Lilly Allen’s visit is also to support the movement of other left-wing activists, including celebrities like actor Jude Law, to see the unaccompanied children living in The Jungle find better living conditions. They have signed a petition to ask Britain to allow these children to come live in England. In Calais, the popstar singer also volunteered her help to the estimated 10,000 refugees of the living in Calais samp. Clearly she wasn’t just there to look around, show off her nails, and just observe. Allen completed a great community service and she is not alone in this.
Other celebrities around the world are also visiting refugees’ camp. One such case includes American actress Lindsay Lohan who made the trip to Turkey to visit the dislodged Syrian population in Gaziantep. The actress interacted well with the Syrian refugees, especially the children whom she entertained with her songs. One Syrian woman gifted Lohan a beautiful scarf, which she donned immediately. Lohan was also affected by her visit as she witnessed people who lost almost everything but still have faith at the chance of another day to embrace life.
In conclusion, Allen’s visit had an emotional effect and serious awakening for herself. She is determined to reach out to other well-positioned people she knows so they too can invest in this cause and lend their assistance.