Adam and Karen of the Heartwood Project near Bath went to Calais and Dunkirk refugee camps in early February.
We produced and transported as much kiln dried wood and charcoal as our van could carry, and arrived in Calais to find a wood yard in the making.
L’Auberge des Migrants and Help Refugees have a warehouse near the Calais Jungle where the incredible Refugee Community Kitchen is based, providing thousands of hot meals every week. All kinds of aid is received and distributed from here too, including clothing and medical supplies. It doesn’t stop there, the workshop has been producing hundreds of shelters for the Jungle residents providing much needed protection from this harsh Winter. Sites for community kitchens have also been identified and provided with rocket stoves in an attempt to encourage safer, more sustainable cooking and heating methods.
A WOOD YARD IS THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP!
While fuel in mixed forms is getting to the Jungle, it is sporadic and unsustainable, and it is not unusual to find people burning plastics, old items of clothing; whatever they can find in a bid to stay warm. The Grand Synthe camp in Dunkirk is also in great need of fuel, and the new MSF site which is opening in March will be equipped with stoves in each tent.
We worked the wood yard for a week and saw that there was a real shortage of volunteers who were confident in wood processing, and a lack of tools as well as people with the skills to maintain and repair them.
Having wood in the refugee camps is essential for warmth and for cooking; more than this though, for the feelings of security and community that come with sharing the space of the hearth.
FUEL SECURITY IS VITAL IN THE REFUGEE CAMPS.
So what do we need?
Your donations will enable us to arrange deliveries of seasoned cordwood directly to the wood yard at Calais, and to make return journeys to process that cordwood.
Chainsaws, axes, bill hooks and safety gear, as well as time to share skills enabling more people to safely operate and maintain them.
We hope to support the establishment of the wood yard so that reliable firewood supplies begin to make it to the Calais Jungle and Grand Synthe Dunkirk refugee camps.
Please support us to support the yard.