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Refugee Support | efficient systems | Green Alternatives

An environmentally-friendly approach to the refugee crisis

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Roots is a small charity that has been providing secure, dignified and environmentally conscious aid to displaced people living in the Grande-Synthe - Northern France. The organisation was founded in 2017 to support any displaced person left behind following the demolition of the original makeshift camp in Calais known as ‘the Jungle’. The main activities entail the provision of electricity, electronic devices built from upcycled e-waste, supply of potable water, hot showers and waste management in camp.









charitable roots

What is Roots?

Roots was set up in Calais in 2017 following the demolition of the 'Jungle' refugee camp. While the structure of the camp disappeared, the flow of refugees didn't, so we set up an electronics workshop where we create ingenious solutions to the ongoing problem of affordable energy for those on the move. 


We repurpose 18650 Lithium-ion batteries that are found in a multitude of rechargeable electronic devices. We build portable personal power banks which are then distributed by our partners, so that refugees can keep their phones charged as well as USB heating pads during the winter to prevent the onset of hypothermia during these bitterly cold winter nights.

It costs us £2.50 to build a power bank worth £20.

88 % COST REDUCTION    |    8    PHONE CHARGES    |    4   USB PORTS


We also build charging boxes which replace those noisy, polluting petrol generators.

Projects like this provide people with essential life saving items on a scale and at a price that would not be sustainable by purchasing these items wholesale.

A phone is not only where family photos and contacts are kept, it also provides access to vital aid including food, clothes, shelter and medical care when displaced. 

All materials used in each of our Power Bank devices are thoroughly tested to ensure the completed product will be working at full throttle.


The 18650 Lithium-Ion batteries especially go through a lengthy testing process in order to prevent any risk of accident or injury should any be unstable.

Charging Chip (£1.20)

18650 Batteries (Recycled)

Charging Capacity



Charging Time

Casing (£1.00)

Nickel Strip (£0.30)

a few figures, SINCE WE STARTED...





batteries processed

power banks built and distributed

hand warmers built and distributed

pounds saved on power banks alone 

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Each power bank we build and distribute comes with this useful information sticker for those on the move, including Phone Credit For Refugees, REF AID app, and the French emergency number 

Get Involved

Source batteries for us!

Help us collect used batteries which we then recycle into power banks and hand warmers for refugees


We solely rely on private €£$ donations to fund our various projects in northern France

don't bin your old laptop batteries!

Donate them to us! Send us an email so we can arrange a pick up


We have simple information packs explaining how you can support us available for you to share, print off and stick up in your offices, schools, shops 


We are involved with a project to recycle plastic waste collected in the camp into new, functional objects

This means we need...

litter pickers

Waste management is an essential but often overlooked part of grassroots aid work which has a serious impact on both the refugees' health, the environment and the local citizens. We provide communities within the camp with a bin that is emptied via our waste management programme and carry out weekly litter picks. 

Want to volunteer and help us clean the place up?

Our Partners

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