RCK NORTHERN FRANCE UPDATE

Four months ago, in October 2016, the Jungle camp in Calais was evicted and demolished… 10,000 people were sent to every corner of France to CAOs, RCK thought that the need would be greatly reduced and our operation would not be needed on the scale it had been for the past 11 months. Yes, our hot food distribution has greatly reduced; instead of 2500-3000 meals a day we are now serving between 300-500 meals everyday. A relative breeze for the amazing chefs and long-term volunteers we have in our kitchen.

However, since the closure of the Jungle camp we have far from slowed down our operations and RCK is now just as busy as ever and spending more and more money on food security for the 1400 refugees that have not been evicted from the La Liniere camp in Grande Synthe or have returned from the CAOs to sleep rough in and around Calais, just in a different way.

RCK has two FREE shops in the La Liniere camp supplying food to the 1200 residents of the camp and maintaining the 7 community kitchens that we built in March 2015 to allow the residents to cook their own food.

Once again we have taken the same stance we took when serving thousands daily in the jungle and we make sure the stocking of the shops is done with dignity and respect in mind. We only put food on the shelf that is in date, we make sure we have fresh vegetables everyday as well as fresh bread when we have the money to. Using a ticketing system that was devised by one of the camps most dedicated people, Laure, residents can come to the shop everyday to get what they need so they do not have to stock pile food in their small shelters and take up valuable space, people have started to bring food back to the shops now as they realise that we are going nowhere in a hurry and we are always fully stocked with the basics.

No more just taking what they have been offered they can now choose what they want daily.

Dignity and Respect.

RCK is also working with outreach groups in and around northern France to supply hot and cold food to the smaller camps and squats that are now re-appearing due to the CAOs closing and people returning.

Every day we hear of new arrivals and we offer help where we can, be it daily drop offs of hot food to the 20 young men living in a old building or weekly drops of cold food to small camps 1hrs drive away from the kitchen.

There are also regular drop offs of baked goods to Paris for the outreach teams to give out in the night packs.

Our work here is far from over and we do not see an end in sight.

After the fire in one of our community kitchens that became the Women’s Centre 10 days ago we have once again called on the skills of Finn Kay and Rob Crook who have dropped everything to assemble their teams and are now on the ground to rebuild the centre so that women will once again have a safe space to be and to cook for their families.

None of this is possible without your continued support both in person with your donations and multiple skill sets (we love meeting you) and with your hard earned money so please do continue to come and to spread the word that its not over in northern France..

With LOVE, DIGNITY and RESPECT we will continue to help others less fortunate..

THANK YOU…..

http://refugeecommunitykitchen.com/
https://mydonate.bt.com/donation/start.html?charity=147727

 

 

The Refugee Community Kitchen family grows…

kids-bring-vegetables-from-lille-copy….as Calais Kitchens hands over all it’s operations to RCK

Since the eviction of the Calais Jungle, we have been working to supply food to the nearby Dunkirk camp and street outreach teams in Paris and London but as the vast numbers of refugees have now left Calais we have decided go back to our beginnings one year ago when Refugee Community Kitchen and Calais Kitchens was one team.

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One year on…

One year ago today RCK served its very first meals to the refugee’s and volunteers living and working in the refugee camp in Calais, France called ‘The Jungle’.

Our first day we served 500 hot and healthy meals. On the menu that day was rice, dahl, salad, fresh fruit, bread and a drink. All produced from donated food from the UK and cooked by chefs and volunteers who gave up their normal lives to come and make a difference to others. It was the start of a year that we was not expecting when we decided to help in the growing crisis across the small stretch water in France.

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Our work goes on…

After last month’s evictions of the Calais camp, Refugee Community Kitchen has carried on feeding the 1200 residents of the Grande Synthe Camp in Dunkirk every day.

We are also coordinating, with the help of Calais Kitchens, the supply of fresh and dry food for the communal kitchens in Grande Synthe (run by SWK) that provide breakfast and dinner everyday as well as the stocking of the free shops that provide everything needed for the residents to cook for themselves  in the communal rocket-stove powered kitchens.

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Diary of an eviction

As the Calais ‘Jungle’ was evicted and cleared at the end of October, Refugee Community Kitchen along with Calais Kitchens and Ashram Kitchen continued providing as much food and assistance as we could….here are the daily updates that Steve Bedlam posted to Facebook during those dark and difficult days.

Day 1 of the eviction of the Calais camp 24.10.16
RCK teams are in the camp still serving hot food.
All seems to be going to plan and people are leaving on the buses provided..

Lets hope it remains calm and people find a warm place awaiting them..

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Calais ‘Jungle’ like ‘Lord of the Flies’, with more than a thousand children in container compound, volunteers claim

Exclusive: Children are struggling to survive in difficult and dangerous conditions, volunteers told The Independent

by Charlotte England

The Calais Jungle has become like Lord of the Flies, with 1,500 children left unsupervised, sleeping in bare containers and free to roam the adjacent camp site, close to heavy machinery being used to dismantle and remove the wreckage, volunteers have told The Independent.

Taps supplying drinking water to the compound have been turned off, and food for the young refugees, who are mostly boys aged between 10 and 17, is not being supplied by the authorities, aid organisations claim.

Nobody is allegedly allowed inside the containers except for a handful of security guards, raising serious concerns about the safety of the Jungle’s most vulnerable occupants.

A small group of volunteers from three tiny charities told The Independent they are working “round the clock” to distribute bottled water, food, and blankets to the children, in a bid to support them. The task is extremely difficult, they said, because the organisations have only been given about 20 passes between them permitting access to the razed Jungle site.
Members of the grassroots aid organisations Refugee Community Kitchen, Calais Kitchens, and Little Ashram Kitchen, said they have had to distribute supplies from the roadside by the fenced-off compound. Only French officials can access the restricted container site, volunteers said, but they have not been present on a day-to-day basis.

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!! Mobile Support Winter Campaign !!

Winter is coming and for most of us that means cosy evenings in our warmed homes, snacking on foods from our fridges and cupboards as and when we feel like it and sharing warming stews and hot soups with our friends and families.
Not so for the thousands in refugee camps on Europe’s borders who will be enduring freezing temperatures, scarce provisions and minimal cooking facilities.

Regardless of recent eviction announcements of the Calais camp,
Refugee Community Kitchen is dedicated to continuing the work begun in December 2015 in the Calais and Dunkirk camps where over 570,000 meals have been served to date along with the creation of self-service shops and kitchens. We will provide for these camps and all displaced peoples until we are not needed anymore.

Refugee Community Kitchen is also going mobile this winter to serve the same hot, nutritious meals that every human deserves to others living in camps across the continent.
Travelling with a full mobile catering truck, fridge truck and marquees along with a dedicated team of chefs and volunteers, we will seek those most in need and work with locals and other grassroots organisations and NGOs to enable displaced peoples to eat and cook their own food and prepare meals for their families.

Your support has been awesome and the only way we can continue with this humanitarian mission is with your continued help.
Going on-the-road and supplying our static kitchen in Calais will take a lot more money and resources so please increase your efforts to fundraise, donate and do what you can –
your help is essential and deeply appreciated.

Please share this appeal across social media channels and amongst your friends and family.
Thanks in advance
Steve, Sam, Janie & Paula