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 had been 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 in Basroch.
It had been 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.
The vast majority of residents were from the autonomous Kurdish region of Northern Iraq which has suffered greatly under the advance of ISIS/Daesh, but there were also a number of families from other countries such as Iran and Afghanistan.
In the first weeks of the new camp opening, the 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 Charity and Brighton Shelter Build, and by August they were running two buildings 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.
The RCC team is currently working on plans for new projects. More details will be released soon!
So far in 2018 we have:
We work closely with other organisations to ensure we are offering the most effective, joined up service.