A reception center for displaced Ukrainians opens in Paris. France 24 to meet those fleeing the war. Despite this one-stop shop, Parisians sometimes support them in complex administrative procedures.
‘Paris area closed for weekend’, a group of security personnel explains to disoriented Ukrainian refugees who have just arrived in Paris on Saturday, March 26 family center ukraine One of the halls of the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre, southwest of Paris. A place opened exclusively by the city of Paris and managed by the French association Terre d’Asile to welcome and mentor displaced Ukrainians.
The Paris City Hall website says the centre is open seven days a week, from 9am to 6pm, but today, its administrative services are closed. Only Ukrainians who need accommodation are accepted. Migrants who arrived at the center for other reasons stoically welcomed the news and obediently left the building, clutching their personal belongings and identification documents.
Martine and her husband Pierre, a Parisian couple, came to accompany 53-year-old Svetlana and her 19-year-old daughter Alyssa. All four seemed overwhelmed after learning that the center’s administrative services were closed. They lingered in the early morning spring sun and exchanged phone numbers with a Russian-speaking woman who had come with another group of displaced Ukrainians. More experienced, she’s full of advice for navigating the maze of French bureaucracy.
When asked how they met their disciple, Martine replied: “Mozambique!”, sketching a smile behind his mask. “My son lives in Mozambique and he had a friend who asked him if he could help her by hosting a Ukrainian friend in France”. Despite knowing nothing about their past, the French couple did not hesitate to agree to help the two women.
An arduous journey across Europe
Thanks to Google Translate, Martine and Pierre manage to break down the language barrier with their guests every day. Using translation tools and Google Maps, they learned where Svetlana and Alyssa came from: a town called the Dnieper, on the banks of the Dnieper River. The two women recounted their arduous five-day journey to France. After leaving Ukraine, the mother and daughter took a bus from Poland to Berlin, then they flew from Berlin to Paris before arriving on Wednesday in Meudon, a Paris suburb a few kilometers from Ukraine’s city center. This Saturday morning, Martine and her husband came to pick them up at another house where they couldn’t accommodate them.
This United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) A total of more than 3.8 million Ukrainian migrants were identified on Monday since the conflict began. With Poland, Romania and Moldova already taking in most of the refugees, the three European countries are under increasing pressure for immigration, and the acceptance of refugees is also the resettlement of those who have fled. So many displaced people take their chances and go west, whether or not they have family or friends there.
Svetlana and Alyssa are not sure if they will get temporary protection, offers asylum in France, but already “they want to be independent and get a job, which is the hardest part,” Martine said. As of March 23, France welcomes 26,000 migrants from Ukraineof which only 10,500 were granted temporary residence permits.
“A century ago, my grandfather left Odessa by boat”
“Associations can provide accommodation, but individuals are better able to provide immediate responses, such as finding schools for children, feeding people, helping them get documents,” explains Martine. “My help came naturally because my grandfather left Odessa by boat a century ago. He was fleeing the civil war in Russia. History repeats itself,” she said, visibly moved.
At noon, a bus came and unloaded a large group of people. Many were carrying suitcases and backpacks, and the cries of babies were heard in the distance. Migrants brought by the Red Cross to the Ukrainian centre of Accueil will only stay there for a day or two before heading to the rest of France.
Meanwhile, Olena and her father, from Cherkassy, a town southeast of Kyiv, arrived at the reception center’s door. “I invited my father to France for his birthday also because it was a holiday for the children and then the war broke out and he was with us,” said Olena, who lives in France. “We came here because my father has cancer and if anything goes wrong with his health, I want him to be covered by French social security. »
Like Svetlana and Alyssa, Olena and her father were asked to return on Monday to begin the process of obtaining a Vitale card. The Ukrainian vowed that her father would stay in Paris with the family as long as the war continued. “Everyone wants to go home,” she said, with tears in her eyes.
This article is adapted from English. Find the original here.