We are currently working on plans for our next projects. More details coming soon!
So far in 2018 we have:
Dunkirk Children’s Centre was the first centre set up and run by the founder of the charity, along with a small group of independent volunteers, and provided the catalyst for the creation of Refugee Children’s Centres.
The refugee camp in Grande-Synthe opened in early in March 2016 to provide temporary accommodation for around 2500 refugees who had been living in shocking conditions on a nearby boggy wasteland. It was set up by the medical aid charity Medicins Sans Frontieres and the local authority of Grande-Synthe, under the leadership of the mayor, Damien Careme, who could no longer bear to see people living in such terrible conditions. Built to UNHCR standards, it was the first internationally recognised refugee camp in France.
In the first weeks of the new camp opening, volunteers set up a small play area in a tent to give the children a safe space to play out of the cold. Over time the play space grew; by the end of April they had moved into a purpose built room, donated and built by the Hummingbird Project and Brighton Shelter Build, and by August they were running two classes and providing a program of activities for up to 60 children per day. Volunteers came from all over the world to share their knowledge expertise and love.
“As a brand new volunteer I would say it was definitely the best introduction I could have wished for.” Volunteer.
“It gave me a better insight in to how to understand and manage trauma, to understand that unruly behaviour may be attributed to their experiences. Great suggestions for different lesson plans because it gets difficult to engage teenagers.” Volunteer.
“Being new to working with refugees, the all-encompassing nature of the explanations about trauma, what it is and how it impacts children, really helped me.” Volunteer.
“The sessions have been really helpful in shaping our guidelines on volunteer and children interactions. Both Jade and Caralyn provided a lot of great information and ideas. We have incorporated their feedback and guidance in shaping our children's program. Jade's introduction and prepared information has been vital in our progress." Managing Director, organisation supporting refugees in Greece.
"The Children’s Centre was such a good place and every teacher was good with the children. The teachers and volunteers of the children’s centre were the best in the camp of Dunkirk and they always tried really hard with all the children.” Mohammad, single parent of three children aged 1, 5 and 7.
“The Children’s Centre is one of the few things I took comfort in whilst in the camp. I felt confident that when I sent my children there they’d be safe, looked after and fed. I did not send them anywhere else on camp as I didn’t feel it was safe. My children were so happy there and they still talk about it now and miss the friends that they made.” Yani, mother of five children aged 1-12, including a 7 year old daughter with cerebral palsy.
We work closely with other organisations to ensure we are offering the most effective, joined up service.