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Roots provides sustainable aid to displaced communities in Northern France. Roots was founded in 2017 by Thomas Gilbert as a project to improve conditions in the Grande-Synthe refugee camps, via environmentally conscious means. Since then, the work of Roots has broadened to other areas such as the electronics workshop which builds power banks, torches, hand-warmers and charging stations, as well as Roots’ sanitation projects which keep the camps cleaner and provide washing facilities such as hot showers for displaced communities. We also have a daily (phone) charge project with wifi to aid in digital inclusion and maintaining links with individual families and stay connected with information etc. We are also the only charity in Grand-Synth to provide safe drinking water on a large scale to the living site.

  • Where is it?


  • What will I be doing?

    • WASH services 
    • Run the charge/wi-fi program on the living site. 
    • Clean water provision
    • Cleaning the shared facilities in the Grande-Synthe camps- water point, showers (Roots-made)
    • Emptying bins we provide in camp
    • ‘Big Camp Clean Ups’ Litter picking and cleaning living areas in camp 
    • Creating showers, toilets, and maintaining project equipment for use on the living site.
    • Learning to build sustainable electronic devices in the electronics workshop
  • What impact would I have?

    Volunteers are essential to Roots so that we can improve the living situation for refugees in Northern France as well as improve the conditions of the environment too. Our focus is to maintain a clean, more hygienic, and dignified living space for refugees in the informal refugee camps. Whilst also working on our side projects to improve their quality of living, such as through provision of Powerbanks, torches and handwarmers.  Roots provide some of the basic needs such as safe drinking water on a daily basis, in large quantities.

  • Who will I be working with?

    Volunteers would be working with the coordinators on site. There will be other long-term volunteers or trustees working on site as volunteers. Volunteers will spend time working in the camps, so there will be times we are working with or alongside refugees, as well as other organisations.

  • Minimum age


  • Accommodation

    Accommodation is provided in Steene, a short 12 minute drive from Grande-Synthe, where the camp is located and near Dunkirk town. The accommodation is in our large warehouse and workshop space. It is a dorm style accommodation with shared rooms. The accommodation is 200 Euros for the first month, 160 euros for the second and after eight weeks the accommodation is FREE. 

  • Extra Costs

    • Travel to France, Volunteers can be picked up from the port if travelling via ferry.
    • Travel around France. Volunteers' travel or fuel costs will be covered to camps from the accommodation but anything outside this is not covered.
    • Food costs (20 euros a week and food/meals will be available at all times)
  • Skills required

    General volunteering

  • Interested in volunteering?

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