By Paris, France Relief Team (Originally in French)
Responding to Supreme Master Ching Hai’s loving instruction to help the refugees and with EUR 1,823.26 (US$2,023.15) fund contributed by our Chinese Association members, our Paris Center assisted refugees in Paris and northern France.
Delivering Vegan Food to Refugees in Paris, France – May 2016
On May 16, 2016, our Paris Center learned from Facebook that 100 new refugees arrived in Paris and were in great need of help, especially food. Our local Association members immediately began preparing aid packages.
We packed more than 200 bags of vegan food including bananas, apples, cereal bars, potato chips and some bread the next day. We distributed the food bags to the 150 African refugees near the Stalingrad underground Paris Métro station. A French man who was coordinating food distribution for the refugees told us he was happy we came.
The remaining food bags were given out at a nearby location on the banks of Canal Saint-Martin, where the refugees were living in small tents and enduring precarious conditions. We met many private citizens who tried to collect water, vegetables and bread with neighbors to help the refugees. A woman named Agathe asked us to bring more food again as they needed a lot of support. We promised to come back on the weekend with hot meals.
On May 20, we brought prepared vegan food for around 200 refugees staying in tents outside at the Jardins d’Éole (Gardens of Aeolus) in northeast Paris. However, during the previous night, there were 150 new arrivals. Thankfully, we had more than enough for everyone. Some local people helped us to find more disposable plates and everything was fine. Jardins d’Éole was kept clean and the refugees queued easily to receive the food. They were very polite and friendly. We were happy to provide some help during these difficult times for the refugees.
Providing Vegan Food Packages for Refugees in Calais and in the New Camp in Grande-Synthe in Northern France – June 2016
In June 2016, our Paris Association members assisted the refugees in northern France where the conditions were still difficult. We prepared many vegan food packages, each containing a bag of peanuts, two fruit compotes, two bags of chips, two cereal bars, a can of corn or chickpeas and some candy.
On June 3, we drove to the refugee camp in Calais and distributed some food packages. Then we went to Grande-Synthe, about 30 kilometers away, and found the new camp built by Mayor Damien Careme that meets the international humanitarian standard. With the kind assistance from Sylvie, the food manager, we were able to get in the camp and deliver our food to the cooking team. Sylvie remembered some of our team members from before in Germany when we distributed vegan food and financial assistance to help the refugees.
In the Grande-Synthe refugee camp, food was managed by a special team. There were also other facilities such as a laundromat, a coffee place, a location with an electric outlet, and a school. The refugees also helped to manage the camp. We were so happy to see that the refugees are enjoying much better living conditions now.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association for Refugee Relief Work in France
|Food (peanuts, fruit compotes, chips, cereal bars, candy, cans of corn and chickpeas)||1,823.26||A|
|Total|| EUR 1,823.26