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Testimonials Notebooks of exile, episode 6. With the war, they left Boïarka, kyiv, Odessa or Moscow, and put down their suitcases in Dijon, Strasbourg or Ambrières-les-Vallées, a village of Mayenne. For how long ? Twelve Ukrainian and Russian families have agreed to tell us about their daily lives and give us news over the weeks.
Their lives have been turned upside down by the conflict. Twelve Ukrainian and Russian families tell us about their new daily life in France over the weeks. Since our last exchanges, Veronika and her daughters have arrived in a shelter in Mayenne, and will soon be settling in a house. The mother of the family dreams of working in a cafe, like in kyiv. Valeria, in Strasbourg, is going through a period of doubt. For Lessya, on the other hand, the horizon emerges: she was able to leave the home of Semur-en-Auxois to resettle in Dijon, where a family welcomes her with her two daughters until July.
In this series, “Carnets d’exil”, all the names are not published in order to protect the people who have agreed to testify to Le Monde.
More than 83,000 displaced Ukrainians benefit from the allowance for asylum seekers in France, according to the latest figures from the French Office for Immigration and Integration, published on 19 May.
“GOING AWAY IS IN A SORT OF A CHANCE. Not everyone had the same as me. We are housed in a vacation center, waiting to be settled elsewhere: everyone has their own room; nature is very beautiful. In Ukraine, the girls didn’t see me because I worked all the time, so they prefer life here! Anastasia does not want to return to kyiv. Her friends envy her for being in France and for having seen Paris. Daria has made friends, with whom she feeds snails, which they have adopted. There is not much around, so we tan! [Veronika montre avec la caméra de son téléphone le bois qui borde la propriété]. It’s beautiful here!
During the day, we try to learn French, but there is little to do, so we are very bored. Volunteers organized an excursion to Mont-Saint-Michel for us, and for Easter they took us to an Orthodox church. But we spent all our savings, so it’s hard to plan anything, with two children. On June 5, we will receive some money, a temporary allowance of 600 euros for three people.
I would like to have more visibility and find an activity. We were issued a work permit for six months, I registered with Pôle Emploi, and now I’m waiting. Until I know the language better, I’m ready to take anything. I could do cleaning, washing dishes! I would like to work again in a café, like in kyiv, but there is a language barrier, I must first learn French.
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