Vents Contraires

Aim

Vents Contraires, (“Contrary Winds”), provides drinking water, showers, hygiene products, clothes, sim-cards and phone credits to the displaced people of Ouistreham and Caen in northern France. In addition, they provide a wifi antenna and a powerbank to recharge phones. Having a working phone is vital for people on the move, both to stay in contact with their families and to follow administrative procedures to obtain asylum.

History

After volunteering in Calais in 2020 and in northern Serbia in 2021, Johanès Si Mohand came back to France and set up a project for refugees in Ouistreham, Normandy. During an initial assessment, he noticed displaced people living in makeshift tents in a narrow lane of bushes alongside a canal, with no sanitation nor support from the local authorities, and decided to take action. He set up Vents Contraires, a mobile NGO distributing drinking water and offering access to showers and laundry services.

Reach

Vents Contraires visits 5 sites, assisting about 200 people weekly, of whom about 30% are women and children. Most of the people Vents Contraires meet are destitute asylum seekers. None of them have adequate housing, so they are forced to live in makeshift camps or squats.

Advocacy

Vents Contraires partners with other local NGOs to file requests to the French Ombudsman or other EU institutions and to advocate in favour of a dignified welcome on French soil. In addition, they undertake legal actions to force public authorities in Ouistreham to ensure safe access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for people sleeping out in the rough there.

Read more on the Vents Contraires website

Vents Contraires in Ouistreham and Caen, France

How you can help

Since 2016, HAN has provided more than 80 tons emergency supplies like blankets, food and medicine, mostly donated by our partners and supported more than ten Heroes in Thessaloniki, Samos, Patras, Calais and Bosnia amongst others. HAN spends 100% of funds on its goals and are matched 50-100 fold in value (8 mio Euro’s) by donations in kind and contributions by other NGO’s.

Help us to support amazing projects like Vents Contraires