The Tomorrows Project: The Recho

December 5th, 2016 by TOMS

Employee Name: Jojanneke Goedhart

Employee Job Title: Traffic and Production Coordinator

Tomorrows Project Title: The Recho

Project Tagline: Ten young women join forces by starting a food truck to bring some life to refugee camps.

Tell us about Le Recho.

Le Recho, meaning ‘the Stove’ in English, is a non-profit food truck project started by ten young women in France. The aim of the project is to bring life to a refugee camp in France through cooking workshops and meals.  The project hopes to create bonds and help foster the integration of refugees. I first heard about Le Recho through a good friend and colleague of mine, Marie. Marie is one of the founders of Le Recho. She spoke so passionately about Le Recho’s mission, that I wanted to support the project.

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Why was Le Recho created?

A heartbreaking number of Irakian, Soudanese, Afghans, Kurdes, Iraniens, Pakistanais, Lybiens, or again Somaliens refugees, are fleeing their homes to seek asylum in other countries.  In September 2015, France committed to allow 30,000 refugees over the next two years to enter the country. Unfortunately, many of these refugees have had difficult transitions to France.  Their living conditions in camps are alarming, and medical assistance is minimal.  Additionally, public sentiment towards Syrian refugees has been unwelcomed and fear has  increased with instances of terror in Europe over the last few years.

With so many factors working against the vulnerable refugee population, a group of women came together who wanted to find a way that they could help.  As chefs and food lovers, they wanted to place their skills and expertise at the service of refugees while providing a little enjoyment in a context where it’s only about survival.  So was born Le Recho!

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What is your Tomorrows Project?

Le Recho’s first food truck mission took place this summer in the north of France in Dunkerque’s Grand Synthe Refugee Camp. For three weeks, Le Recho offered the following resources within the camp:

– Cooked approx. 500 vegetarian meals a day for refugees, 10500 meals total

– Hosted 20+ cooking workshops on camps with refugees and local volunteers.

– Offered help to get a job in the hospitality industry.

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What impact has been made so far?

At TOMS, we are very proud of Le Recho’s impact from the food truck’s first mission. Refugees and locals bonded around cooking for the camp, learning from each other and sharing meals.

Additionally, we’ve been able to get TOMS employees involved in this important cause.   Many employees in our Amsterdam office went to volunteer for a couple of days in the camp to support the project. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us and  brought first-hand awareness and understanding to our TOMS community about the challenges faced by asylum-seekers on their journey towards a better tomorrow.

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