S.O.S Chai is a Bless project in Caen, France that aims to feed refugees and distribute donations twice a week.
What we do.
We supply food on the Presqu'île every Mondays and Wednesdays; on Wednesdays we have a lovely group of ladies from Livarot preparing the food, and on Monday it’s prepared by our team members in Caen. We aim to provide a tasty and nutritious meal, alongside fruit, cake and tea & coffee. Our meals are served in a wrap, and span across currys and chillis, and we’re constantly on the look-out for more recipes.
Firstly, we arrive and unpack the van - this means putting out the tables and stools and hot drinks. Then we serve the food and sometimes give out donations and kits. Throughout the night, there will be games on the tables which our volunteers sit down and play, giving a chance to chat and build friendships.
The Presqu'île is where we gather on Mondays and Wednesdays. A disused industrial area covering the peninsula between the river and the canal, it is home for a large portion of the city’s displaced people. We meet in a loading bay with the permission of a local business owner, and it makes a great environment for us to hang out and build relationships with the groups we work with. It is a long term goal to create a permanent base for SOS on the Presqu'île, where we can support the refugees and see the area transformed.
In addition to food distributions, we started a couple years ago to give language support such as French or English lessons twice a week for a couple of hours to a group of boys who would like to make progress. It has been a really good opportunity to meet them and connect with them.
Down at the Port of Ouistreham there are a large group of migrants who camp in the bushes. We are trying to go down as much as we can and try to distribute clothes and necessities to this group. The first time we went we took Tea and Coffee, along with a “Field Kit” – this was a mix of the Fresh Kit and savoury food. After chatting with them, we found out that the locals supply an amazing amount of support, supplying hot food almost every day. So we decided to try and help them keep warm whilst surviving outside in the winter – this comes in the form of warm clothes, layers for sleeping, and whatever else is available at the time.
To distribute supplies & donations in the smoothest and most efficient way possible, we focus on making up Kits. We currently give out Fresh Kits every 3 weeks; inside each kit is a bottle of shower gel, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a razor, a packet of tissues and breakfast biscuits. We are also very, very, very excited to be giving out our brand new Cold Kits this winter, containing a thermal underlayer, a hat, a coat, a pair of socks and gloves. We have lots of ideas with Kits and hope to have them included in the constant structure of SOS.
who we are.
click on an image to find out more about who they are and what they do
HOW YOU CAN HELP.
HERE'S A FEW DIFFERENT WAYS we raise funds we need to facilitate sos chai.
We have recently set up a GoFundMe to create an easy way for you to support SOS Chai. This helps the costs of food, Kit items, clothing, running the SOS van and a space to run SOS Chai from. If you would like to donate or check it out, just click the link below.
This acts as an online shopping list, that when an item is purchased, it gets delivered straight to our offices. As soon as it gets here, it is distributed the very next session! On the list we have necessities like warm clothes and sleeping bags; click the link below to see some more of the items we have!
We are in constant need of volunteers to keep this project going; to help make the food, the kits, the day to day management of SOS Chai, along with the general running of the evenings. If you are interested or can think of any other way you would like to get involved, please don't hesitate to contact the team. Contact details below.
HAVE A LOOK.
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Have a read.
Our co-founder Chrissie writes updates and personal accounts of what working with sos chai is like...
This project is run and funded through the registered charity; The Bless Network. You can find out more about Bless by clicking the box below! For more information on how to donate, check out the giving page.
Charity Number: 1105173