HUMANITARIAN Support | efficient sERVICES | Green Alternatives
An environmentally conscious approach to the refugee crisis in northern France
What is Roots?
Roots is a small grassroots NGO that provides sustainable, environmentally conscious services to displaced people living in Grande-Synthe, northern France. The organisation was founded in 2017 to support displaced people following the demolition of 'The Jungle', a large camp in Calais, in 2016. Our main activities involve the provision of basic services such as drinking water, hot showers, waste management, and operating a social hub in camp where people on the move have access to Wi-Fi, electricity and electronic devices built from upcycled e-waste.
OUR CORE PROJECTS
ENVIROMENT & Community
WATER · SANITATION · HYGIENE
A COMMUNICATIONS HUB
RECYCLING · INFORMATION · CARE
The living site in Dunkirk has not had a state provided water point since the end of 2021. In response to this, we began our water project, providing between 6,000 and 15,000 litres of water to the camps every single day. Water is essential for everyday living and is a basic human need. In our WASH Project we also run hot showers, using upcycled IBCs (water tanks) to make shower cubicles and connect them to our water source and a boiler to heat the showers. We also provide a range of toiletries, as access to hygiene products is a necessity, particularly when people are forced to live outside in difficult conditions. Our WASH Project is the most time consuming and expensive project, but it is the most vital service we provide for this community.
We provide 192 charging spaces covering 4 tables, every single day. Charging and Wi-Fi is extremely important: We run this service daily, providing people on the ground with the ability to communicate. Phone charging and access to data is crucial in reducing digital exclusion; many of these people are away from family and friends and rely on phones to remain connected to their communities.
More so, access to technology is a lifeline for the people on camp. It enables access to information about services on the ground, safety information, and emergency services if needed. This allows for better safety and autonomy on camp, and is therefore a necessity for the people living there.
Waste and camp management is another challenging part of what we do. We strive to maintain safe and clean living areas for people on the move. It is an essential, but often overlooked, part of grassroots aid work which can have a serious impact on the health of the refugees, the environment, and local citizens. We provide communities in the camp with bins that are emptied through our waste management programme as well as carrying out weekly litter picks. Our focus is always on sustainable services, so we partnered up with DK Clean Up to create Studio Payette (a branch of Precious Plastics), a project coming soon which will recycle plastic waste collected in the camp into products we can use on the ground.
> 2 Million Liters
of water provided in 2022
of litter recycled
saved on power banks alone
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