Millions of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the conflict have been displaced. The question of their arrival in France will arise fairly soon. In Limousin, a traditional land of welcome, the power of solidarity is unparalleled. Individuals, associations, elected officials are already mobilized.
“When we saw that the town hall was calling for goodwill, we did not ask ourselves any questions! “ Jean-Louis Lavaux and his wife are retired in Aureil (Haute-Vienne). They have been volunteers for decades. Their children are gone and two bedrooms are unoccupied. Neither one nor two, so they volunteered. “We can see ourselves receiving a family or women with children. We have plenty of small beds. They will stay as long as needed, these poor people, they have nothing to do with it. We’ve heard our parents talk too much about the war to be indifferent“.
In Aureil, the town clerk receives calls from volunteers. 8 people have already announced that they will receive refugees the call of the municipality broadcast on social media.
This also applies to Terence Groos. It is set up in Creuse in a large limousine town and also offers a roof.
“What motivated us to receive Ukrainian refugees is that we went on a trip around the world with my wife in 2018, for more than a year and a half, and worked in every country, in towns, schools and so on. We went all over Ukraine. So we have friends there and had understood the context for a long time. We are therefore particularly connected and emotionally involved in these disasters and believe in the need to help people who have brought us a lot.“.
Individual enterprise is therefore flourishing rather coincidentally. To promote some coherence, the municipalities are trying to harmonize.
Stéphane Delautrette, mayor of Les Cars and president of the Haute-Vienne mayor’s association, is trying to secure control: “If you are ready to receive refugees, you must register at your town hall“.
The Haute-Vienne Mayor’s Association is working to compile all accommodation proposals to send to the district.
“The assistance of the municipalities therefore consists of promoting individual initiative and not only. The town halls have social housing at their disposal, town housing that accommodates families“information Stephane Delautrette. “The Limoges Town Hall for example, offered to host people in the former EHPAD Marcel Faure. We list all these features in a file that is updated over time and fills up very quickly. We then send it to the district“.
However, these accommodation spaces, which are often empty, need to be equipped. This is where the organization comes in. In particular, Secours Populaire can provide clothing, furniture and daily necessities.
“We can provide food assistance. Our local branches are activated. We are used to managing the reception of refugees, but I had not seen so much solidarity since the 2004 tsunami.“Explains Thierry Mazabraud, Secretary General of the Haute-Vienne Popular Relief Society.
The three provinces (Creuse, Corrèze and Haute-Vienne) are at the end of the chain. They all receive offers of assistance. When the Ministry of the Interior requests them, they therefore have a good overview of the space available. For now, they’re waiting. No arrivals have been officially recorded yet. The Ministry of the Interior, however, has sent the procedure to come to France and stay there, for future refugees.
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