The refugees camps in Grande Synthe  2015 -2016

The cloaca: Barosch makeshift camp
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Between 2015 and March 2016 thousands of refugees mostly Kurds, including 200 children, lived in catastrophic conditions in the Barosch makeshift camp, aka “Dunkirk jungle", a filthy swamp at the rand of Grande-Synthe, a borough of Dunkirk, France. The majority came from Irak fleeing ISIL massacres, but there were also Kurds from Iran, Syria and a few Berbers, both minorities persecuted in their countries for decades. As the French government refused any help, they were literally kept alive by associations and volunteers.

Moving to the Linière camp setup by MSF
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On March 7th, 2016, the 1300 inhabitants of the camp moved to a new facility in La Linière, few kilometers away. It is the first humanitarian camp set-up by Médecins sans Frontière (MSF) in Europe and was partly financed by the municipality of Grande-Synthe. On March 9th Basroch camp was officially closed.

The Linière camp
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In Linière the refugees lived in incomparably better conditions and the associations and volunteers continued their work there. On May 30, 2016 the French government finally granted a financial help getting in return the control of the camp’s destiny. From there the refugees tried to reach U.K. illegally. Their stay in the camp lasted anywhere between 3 months and one year. Impossible to change their mind, they wanted U.K., the promised island where relatives and friends were waiting for them. 

They were courageous, very determined and wonderful human beings.

I spent weeks with them,  this is their story. 

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