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In 2016 we took a converted ambulance to 'The Jungle' refugee camp in Calais and for six months served hot drinks and offered friendship and support. With the demolition of the Calais camp, many refugees have headed west along the coast, and some 400 to 500 are now seeking shelter in Caen. For some the only shelter is an overcrowded squat in the old docks area known as Caen Presqu'île.
This is where out SOS CHAI van now operates. At present we visit once a week to offer a hot meal, drinks, and an evening of friendship to a group of mostly Sudanese young men. They are fast becoming our friends, and the atmosphere around our makeshift tables each week is simply beautiful.
Our project is run entirely by volunteers, and our aims through this fund-raising are:
- To ensure that we can continue to provide for these young men for as long as they are in this situation. We are budgeting for 12 months of operation.
- To increase, if possible, the number of visits we can make each week, and the number of refugees reached.
- To maintain contact with the French authorities and with other NGOs active in the field, so as to point our friends towards any help that can be had.
We are a Christian charity, showing the love and hospitality we believe Jesus would show. We have no ulterior motive beyond this - it is our simple desire that these young men, most of them far from home for the first time in their lives, should know that they are loved, that they matter and that someone cares about them.
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