The Audois Ukrainiens Entraide Association on Wednesday celebrated the opening of its Carcassonne Resource Center, which offers material and human support to Ukrainian families relocated to Aude. For four months, the English-speaking community worked wonders in Aude Prefecture and throughout the department.
It is a very cosmopolitan community: Irish, British, Scots, Americans or Poles living in Oda, theirs and their common language, which is also spoken by Ukrainians, English. This, of course, explains, along with the fact that they also had to find their way through the administrative secrets of the new country upon arrival, as their mobilization since March last year after the invasion of Ukraine and the influx of more than 4.5 million refugees. Western Europe were equally effective.
How much will it take
If at first it was a matter of urgently delivering medical equipment and basic necessities to Kharkiv and returning the first two families to Odd, the small solidarity-based multinational company quickly exceeded its first goals of “something bigger.” An association registered in the prefecture, Audois Ukrainiens Entraide, was formed and joined by French volunteers. A similar English-language private initiative group has been formed in the municipalities of Haute-Minervois, Maison du Minervois, to offer short-term housing solutions.
Their goal today is to help build a secure Ukrainian community in Oda by giving them the means to integrate as long as necessary. With the help of town halls, prefectures, departments and the region, both associations use their entire network, from Castelnaudari and Mirepua to Narbonne and Hérault, to help refugees in a very pragmatic way. The full mobilization, which led to the opening of the Ukrainian Resource Center in Carcassonne on Wednesday, in the (large) building of one of the founders of Audois Ukrainiens Entraide, two minutes from the prefecture, one of the most important places to pass.
Everything they need
Refugee families – about 1,000 people registered in the prefecture today – find everything they need there, starting with human warmth. Among other things, a single window information point, French lessons for adults and children, a playground and a children’s library with books in Ukrainian, French and English, access to schooling remotely from Ukraine to allow children to stay in touch. home country, food and clothing bank with the Red Cross, medical care and addresses of English-speaking city doctors, creation of bank accounts in Crédit Mutuel, financial assistance, housing, creation of administrative cases, etc.
“If all this exists, we owe it, first of all, to the wonderful commitment of these English-speaking citizens. Their daily participation is of real importance, of course, with the support of institutions, but this is only a very small part. ” , emphasizes Nicolas Simbaro. Responsible for international relations in the Ade Departmental Council, his services work with the Maramures Department, Romania, to find lasting solutions for displaced Ukrainians. The saturation of private reception now raises questions about the consequences, even if the answers are found today. “We react every day, of course,” said Sharon Hehir, president of Audois Ukrainiens Entraide, whose secretary is none other than Susan Sinha, the historical director of The Celt Irish Pub in Carcassonne. “The important thing is that displaced Ukrainians, even those who go to another destination, know that they have this resource center at their disposal. They will always find there an attentive ear, someone who will know someone who can help them. For example, thanks to the intervention of the mayor of Brahma, Claude Focon-Mejan, to whom we appealed, the telephone operator Orange offered 300 SIM-cards to the settlers. “