Maison Sesame

Building a revolutionary new shelter scheme for refugees in northern France.

Tchang – with his trusted wheelbarrow!

WHAT: Maison Sesame is a brand new shelter project launched by wife-husband-and-son team Sylvie, Benoit and Tchang – a phenomenal trio who have donated a family property to help provide a stable place of rest and recuperation for particularly vulnerable refugees.

Currently being developed and designed by trainee architects Léa Lambert and Baptiste L’grd, and managed by Caroline Cottet, Maison Sesame will be the first of its kind: a landmark stopping-place of healing and aid providing stability and shelter to refugees / refugee families for a minimum of three months, during which time, their applications / asylum processes / future plans can be determined.

WHERE: Based in a small town outside Dunkirk, the Maison Sesame team is now adding a second location to provide emergency shelter for the winter months.

CURRENT STATUS: Despite being in its primary development phase, Maison Sesame is currently home to all volunteers for the Refugee Women’s Centre, our volunteer architects, and two vulnerable refugee families.

Sylvie, Caroline and Onjali visiting the house, 2018

HISTORY WITH US: In 2018, Sylvie approached Caroline Cottet (co-founder of the Refugee Women’s Centre) and Onjali Raúf about using her ancestral home to aid refugees. Following months of meetings and planning, Sylvie and her husband Benoit bit the bullet, and launched the scheme, with O’s Refugee Aid Team pledging their long-term support, and Onjali dedicating a portion of The Boy at the Back of the Class’ royalties to its sustainability, development and growth.

WHAT WE NEED: Right now and for the next two years, the most crucial thing we need to get this house designed and built to the standards we aspire to, is funds, and volunteers with building / plumbing / property development expertise.

WHAT WE PROVIDE: Whatever funds and goods we have capacity to raise.

Donate funds to us for Maison Sesame HERE. 

If you can donate your building skills / expertise / time to this project, please Contact Us HERE citing ‘Maison Sesame’.