Refugee Response Update #5: What's happening in Calais?

7 March 2016

As you might have read in the media this week, part of the Calais refugee camp, known as ‘The Jungle’, is being dismantled. The south part of the camp has a population of 1,000 (as estimated by French government) to 3,500 refugees (as counted by volunteer organisations on the ground), and these people will have to find refuge somewhere else. Temporary solutions could include relocating to the north part of the camp either in tents, shacks, or the government-run shipping containers,  or relocating to the camp in Dunkirk, or to one of many reception centres across France.

Our Greenlight team has been going over to Calais once or twice a month to do waste management in the camp. On these Saturdays the team cleans up the living areas in the Jungle often together with the refugees, to reduce the risk of disease, and make life in the camp a little more bearable . With one half of the camp disappearing, we continue to go over and focus our cleaning efforts on the northern part of the camp.

Our next clean up is planned for Saturday 19 March. If you’re interested in volunteering, sign up via the link below to attend the compulsory training.


A few days before Christmas, we put in our first Sanitation Unit in Calais, which is located in the northern part of the Jungle. This unit will be unaffected by the dismantling of the southern part of the camp. Every day close to 700 people use this unit to shave, brush their teeth, wash up and get clean water.

Through your generous giving to our ‘Heart for the House’ offering at the end of last year, we were able to place a second container in the camp this week.


This unit is serving a relatively new area of the camp where hundreds of the people who used to live in the south part now have taken up residence. This sanitation unit has a slightly different setup to the first unit, dividing the container in two sides, one side for men and the other for women.


We believe that this unit will be just as much of a blessing as the first one, giving the people who fled the horrors of war and persecution a place for clean water and personal hygiene that is a bit more humane and dignified.

You can still contribute to the Refugee Response Fund — donate via the link below.