Pedal Power Phone Charging Project in Calais Refugee & Migrant Camp

In October we are returning to Calais Refugee Camp to set up ten bike powered phone charging stations alongside operating a mini cafe from the Food Rescue Ambulance and dropping off supplies.

For the #Pedal Power Project we need:

  • BIKES! We need this ASAP so we can start building! Email bristolskipchen@gmail.com or call 07944724215
  • welders!

bikescalaisWe will also take supplies of:

  • tents, clothes, shoes etc (winter coming up so warm stuff)
  • non perishables foods: rice, flour, sugar, tea, coffee, lentils etc
  • hand tools
  • sim cards
  • phones

Read below about our April trip:

In April we set off to Calais Refugee Camp along with  Embercombe Apprentice Mission 2015 where we set up a temporary kitchen in the New Jungle described as  a ‘ desolate wasteland, in the shadow of the motorway and a chemical factory on the outer edge of Calais. ‘

We served over 3000 meals over 4 days in 3 different migrant camps: Galloo Squat in the town centre, Leader Price near the Euro Tunnel and the biggest camp the New Jungle by the ferry port.

We also distributed 100 food packs containing 2 kilo sacks of lentils, flour, toothpaste, coffee, tea, bombay mix, millet, granola and wheat.

We set up a solar powered phone charging station using the solar panel installed on the Food Rescue Ambulance.

Embercombe Apprentice Mission brought 400 duvets to distribute, tents, clothes and men’s shoes which we were able to get to those who really needed it. They also donated lots of women’s and children’s clothes to the Jules Ferry Centre where currently 70 -100 women and children are staying.

We made many friends who are living in the Jungle for various reasons.

  • Some have spent years ( up to 10) seeking asylum in countries across Europe and have been rejected from all only to finish in Calais the last place left.
  • Some have been seeking asylum in France but are receiving no support from the French government so have to live in the Jungle whilst they wait.
  • Some are waiting to cross to the UK because they have friends and family living there, or have heard that the UK has the best employment opportunities since the recession hit Europe ( many have left Greece and Italy due to the lack of work).
  • Some have been living and seeking asylum in the UK for several years and have been deported/left voluntarily and don’t know what the future holds.

The people we met came from Eritrea, Syria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, Somalia and are fleeing persecution, conflict, torture and famine.

They cooked with us, they cleaned and served food with us, we drank tea and coffee together, played frisbee and football, exchanged language greetings, drew, hugged and laughed.
Being able to create a positive presence of support, solidarity and love that fed souls rather than just bodies was probably the most powerful action that we could have given.
We felt that this was what the people in Calais valued more than anything.
IMG_6275 IMG_6465 IMG_6171 IMG_6159 IMG_6098 IMG_6253 IMG_6091_2 IMG_6233 51fpAZOqGizuiBXUz6owDt9jYbmpQXz1EiuKkhhPgmo IMG_6224
Photo credit: Julia Shirley-Quirk
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