We had a lovely email yesterday from a group working out in Calais who have taken 30 Frontier Stoves out to the camp there and installed them in caravans for families and others who need them. Because of the Frontier Stove's history and its humanitarian roots, it is incredibly heartwarming to see our stoves being used to keep people warm and provide food and a sense of community in the chaos of the camps.
The Thirty Burners Facebook page has lots of pictures of the stoves - very sweetly named after different flowers - and those who have received them, as well as pictures of the caravans they've been installed in. A lot of the caravans were badly damaged or falling apart, but the team have put in hours of work to make them fit to live in. The Frontiers even got a chance to put their warmth to use drying out the damp caravans ready for move-in!
We'll share some of the pictures of the stoves and their recipients (courtesy of the Thirty Burners Facebook page) here, but do check out their page for more news.
The first stove ready to be delivered:
Bluebell Stove installed in a caravan ready for its new owner:
Bluebell went to a man called Abu, a 66 year old Syrian man who fled his home when the bombs started falling near to his home city a year ago. He has eight children – seven boys and a girl – but since war broke out in Syria has lost five of them. The remaining three have fled to other countries in Europe, while his wife remains in Syria. He hopes that when he reaches the UK he will be able to send for her legally and they can finally be reunited.
Abu is a friendly and popular member of the camp, always inviting passers-by in for a cup of tea and enthusiastically asking questions about everything, despite his limited English!
He suffers from a heart condition for which he takes daily medication and has been struggling for a few months now in a make-shift shelter in which he was always cold and fighting off the rats which lived beneath the floor. The addition of a stove to his new caravan has brought him some much-needed heat and the resources to make as much tea as he likes for those who stop by to see him...
This one was named Cherry Blossom, and it went to a community of over 40 Sudanese people. Before the stove was delivered they cooked in an open fire on the ground, breathing in smoke and using more wood than they had. Welcoming and friendly, they are of diverse backgrounds and varying ages, bonded by a hilarious sense of humour and a love of football.
Next up is Rose, fitted in a caravan for a man unable to remain in the camp because of a medical condition, and his 11-year-old brother.
Rose will be a source of cooking and heating for the Afghan community at the camp; they all drink tea together every morning and take it in turns to make the food, and so as well as warming the caravan itself this stove will serve as a wonderful communal tool to allow the group to cook together more quickly and effectively.
Daisy will go to Mohammed (name changed), and provide for 30 other Sudanese people.
Mohammed (name changed) cooks with his friends in a lovely community of 30 sudanese people, ranging in ages from teenage to elders, and living together in very limited space. Mohammed is famous for his hot chocolate, and a patient Arabic teacher helping the volunteers in Calais to learn Arabic. He has a wife and 2 children that he hopes to be reunited with.
This one, named Sunflower, will go to Abdullah. Sunflower has been given to a group of young boys that live together, where Abdullah (name changed) is growing sunflowers.
Abdullah is a relentless helper in the jungle, an inspiring teenager. He cooks for over 20 people a day, and if you visited him he'd cook for you as well. He and his friends have been cooking on a very inefficient and rusty metal tin contraption (pictured) and were overjoyed to receive their new device.
Every burner gets delivered with a bag of kindling and a bag of logs, and gets marked down so that wood will be brought to the recipients. The team say: 'the best thing about these burners is that they collapse down and fold up neatly, even the chimney is in sections that fit inside the fire box, meaning after use they can be placed safe inside a shelter where they will not get stolen'.
Abdullah and his friends help everyday with food and clothes distribution. He is very proud of his little garden where he is growing onions, garlic, and, of course, sunflowers. He grew up on a farm in Afghanistan. They were all keen to have photos taken with the stoves.
Here's Jasmine, who will be going into a caravan kitted out for a family of eight.
As well as the stove, the team have provided everything they will need to get by: firewood, cutlery, pots, pans and blankets.
Huge thanks to Thirty Burners and the other team that helped to get the stoves out to Calais and to those who really need them. All credits for the photos and stories to Thirty Burners.
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