Sheffield Hallam Student Volunteers in Calais Migrant Camp

28th September 2016

A Sheffield Hallam University student who spent time volunteering as a teacher in the Calais migrant camp known as 'The Jungle' has spoken about his time there.

Hassun El Zafar, who is studying science education, spent several weeks at the camp this summer teaching children in a makeshift school set up by volunteers. Hassun volunteered at the camp as he wanted to make a difference and help to provide the children living there with access to education and a safe teaching environment. Currently, more than 1,000 children live at the camp, 87 per cent of whom are unaccompanied by an adult. Hassun has spoken about his experiences and took part in a short film to help increase awareness of the work of the refugee youth centre in the camp. Hassun said: "I wanted to use my skills that my course has provided me to make a positive impact. I believe I should be doing anything I can to help these children believe in themselves and have hope. "It's easy to forget these children have travelled across the entire globe fleeing persecution, fleeing war or poverty. "The challenge is you're a teacher, teaching children who bear the physical and mental scars of what they've come through. "Giving children a place for them to be children in this squalid place is a primary focus for the refugee youth centre." Hassun used skills learned on his course to think outside the box and teach the children using items available to him. He added: "You need the ability to think outside the box. How am I going to engage someone in learning without any kind of media? You have to do it with what you have, pieces of trash sometimes. To find out more about the organisation that supports the camp and the youth centre and school within it visit

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