The Refugee Women's Centre in Calais & Dunkirk

by Refugee Women's Centre
The Refugee Women's Centre in Calais & Dunkirk
The Refugee Women's Centre in Calais & Dunkirk
The Refugee Women's Centre in Calais & Dunkirk
The Refugee Women's Centre in Calais & Dunkirk
The Refugee Women's Centre in Calais & Dunkirk
The Refugee Women's Centre in Calais & Dunkirk
The Refugee Women's Centre in Calais & Dunkirk
The Refugee Women's Centre in Calais & Dunkirk
The Refugee Women's Centre in Calais & Dunkirk
The Refugee Women's Centre in Calais & Dunkirk

Six years ago, the La Linière camp burnt down, and the only official camp in Dunkirk that has ever existed came to an end. It had been opened just a year earlier by the town of Grande-Synthe and Medecins Sans Frontières. In the camp, displaced people used to have wooden shelters and the Refugee Women’s Centre was an indoor space with a community kitchen and free shop.

Since then, informal camps have sprung up and been dismantled, without any plan to open a new official and recognised camp, even though the situation remains the same as before. The RWC has been a mobile service ever since, going into the informal camps with vehicles and bringing material support to women and families who are not sure where and how they will sleep at night. It has been a year and five months since the current informal camps have been deprived of running water. As we look back over the last six years, the living conditions have only gone downhill, and basic human rights have been increasingly infringed upon.

The RWC maintains its presence and support on the ground despite these challenges.

Thank you for your continuous support!

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All our activities in the field are made possible thanks to the mobility of the teams.

Every morning, the team present daily on the ground meets at our sorting and storage warehouse where the afternoon activities are prepared.

Having vehicles and being mobile allow us to carry out our activities and to be able to physically support the people we support.

In Calais, we leave the warehouse and go to different places and streets to meet women and families. We also work with our partners and their day care, having vehicles also allows us to provide physical support to people and to provide material support in different places in the city.

In Grande-Synthe, from the Calais warehouse, we go directly to the camp where people live with precarious living conditions. In our van is the hygiene products that we distribute but also the clothes, they also allow us to bring sleeping equipment to allow people to shelter.

We are having problems in terms of mobility: our van is broken down and has been vandalized. At the moment we have not been able to get such a large and practical vehicle and we are doing with our other two vehicles. But, thanks to all the people who support us and whom we thank once again, we were able to buy a vehicle to allow us to continue our activities.

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First of all, we are very grateful to be able to be part of this project and thank each donor warmly.

Our goals were to reliably meet the basic needs of women in Calais and Grande-Synthe: create set distribution points, facilitate access to accommodation, ensure follow-up of women’s medical and legal situations, and ensure psychosocial support through the running of activities in the women’s day centre. 

Thanks to this project, we were able to buy activity materials.We were able to fund supplies for women’s afternoons, namely activity resources like paints, sewing supplies, raw materials for creative activities and self-confidence. For example, we were able to buy equipment to hold activities to create natural cosmetics. Our activities take place in day centers or in informal living spaces.

We were able to buy distribution equipment allowing women and families to take shelter: tents, sleeping bags and tarpaulins. Nevertheless we are still in need and the project is not finished, we must continue to ensure our activities and our support on the ground with women and children.

The need for Refugee Womens Centre in Calais and Grande-Synthe was made clear to us during this beginning of the year. Numbers of women and children are higher every year, and we are currently the only charity specialised in supporting displaced women on the border between France and England. This is why we plan to continue developing and strengthening the project over the year 2022. 

This project is a response to the departure of our main funder. Currently, in the absence of permanent funding, we must continue our fundraising and this project.

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Organization Information

Refugee Women's Centre

Location: Grande-Synthe, Hauts-de-France - France
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Project Leader:
Refugee Women's Centre
Grande-Synthe , Hauts-de-France France
$27,144 raised of $33,850 goal
443 donations
$6,706 to go
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