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Utopia 56 is making sure that the camp de la Linière remains open

July 4, 2016 - 5:47pm

Utopia 56 is making sure that the camp de la Linière remains open

Utopia 56 has shared a message, by posters and flyers, with the 900 refugees in the first humanitarian camp in Europe. The message was distributed in French, English, Kurdish, Farsi (Persian) and is being translated into Pashto (the language spoken in Afghanistan).

In this note, we inform them that Utopia 56 is making sure that the camp de la Linière remains open, and we encourage them to get in touch with the volunteers on site if they have any problems.

This is in response to the note issued by the Dunkirk Sub-Prefect on 25th June which states that "the purpose of the camp is not to be a waiting room for people who wish to go to Great Britain” and that “anyone who stays at the camp for a long time could be prevented from remaining in the camp”.

Utopia 56 managed the Camp de la Liniere, at the request of the town hall, for the first two months after it opened (7th March - 7th May). Our volunteers worked day and night for several weeks to make this camp a peaceful place. Contributing an average of 2700 man-days of voluntary work per month, we are proud to have contributed to the safety board giving a favourable opinion on the 25rd March. At that time, the volunteers were using their cars as barriers at the entrance and exit points of the camp to prevent smugglers from getting in and to protect the refugees, especially the children. Our volunteers were on fire duty day and night, etc, etc.

Since the 7th May, Afeji (an association with paid employees presided over by Michel Delebarre) has been managing the camp under a tripartite agreement between the State, the town hall and Afeji. In practice, on the camp, the Utopia 56 volunteers, with the help of the refugees, are taking care of the following:

  • The four shared kitchens (delivering wood, helping to make the meals when
  • the refugees are not familiar with the available foodstuffs)
  • The shops which distribute free food
  • The distribution of 250 breakfasts and 400 meals at lunchtime
  • The laundry (which runs during the daytime for clothes and overnight for
  • covers and quilts)
  • The shelter repair workshop
  • Driving the minibus provided by the town hall to transport people between the
  • camp and the hypermarket (to avoid pedestrians being on the motorway)
  • Manning the “Welcome refugees” information centre (for new arrivals and
  • those already on site)
  • Looking after the children at the extracurricular activities centre
  • Manning the “Women and children” centre (sewing, massage, talking, clothes distribution, changing rooms)

This work is carried out for free, with no subsidies. All of the foodstuffs and meals are distributed entirely thanks to the generosity of donors.