After the last eviction two weeks ago the old camp by the railway track was closed off completely. Since then, the community has settled in a small space close by, tucked away behind some active warehouses and factories on a long strip of land throughout a small wooded area.
There has been little to no authority-decreed destruction since this upheaval, and the weather these last two weeks has also been favourable with the sun shining and the wind speeds keeping low. Although this change has led to more new arrivals in the camp, the atmosphere and tone have overall been positive. People have been able to develop their own living sites without any intervention from the police, which has resulted in multiple community spaces and community-led restaurants springing up.
We have continued to be present on-site every day providing our usual range of services such as charge, Wi-Fi and hot drinks, as well as equipping new arrivals with essential equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, blankets and warm clothing. We continue to provide firewood in the evenings, as although the days have been warmer, the nights are still cold.
When our teams arrive on-site, they are greeted by grateful and smiling faces, many individuals who want to help us get set up and know the layout of our distribution from weeks of familiarity.
While the situation is still far from ideal, with men, women and children still being forced to sleep outside and relying on donations every day, the relative peace of the last two weeks has had such a clear and palpable impact on the communities we support. This hiatus has been especially appreciated given the ongoing celebrations and practising of Ramadan. We don’t anticipate this atmosphere will last forever, as we and the community can be subject to the whims of both the French authorities and the weather at any time, but while things are more positive it is definitely worth noting.
To support our work, please donate via the link below:
If you are interested in joining our team, please get in contact.