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A Journey of Solidarity and Sharing: Ukrainian Youth in Nancy

On March 17th, forty high school students from Vinnytsia, the twin city of Nancy, arrived in France for a stay marked by solidarity and sharing. Two twin cities come together to allow these young people to enjoy time away from

 war and attend classes at Alfred Mézières College alongside their French peers.

Through the initiative of Europe Prykhystok and the General Federation of PEP, several committed actors mobilized to make this stay possible: the Departmental Council of Meurthe-et-Moselle, the City Hall of Nancy, Solidarité Laïque, the team of Alfred Mézières College, and the students themselves, who enabled their Ukrainian counterparts to feel part of the European community. Each worked hand in hand to offer these young Ukrainians a unique experience.

For the first time in our program, Ukrainian children were integrated directly into the classes and activities of the Nancy youth, sharing valuable moments of learning and exchange. This stay offers these teenagers a welcome respite from a daily life marked by over two years of conflict. Through lessons, recreational and sports activities, young Ukrainians have the opportunity to discover French culture and daily life, far from the horrors of war. The young Ukrainians arrived in France already having studied French, and this stay reinforces their learning. Marie, one of the Ukrainian participants, testifies: "I try to communicate with the French students, and it's going well." This experience means much more than just a trip; it's a true moment of comfort and hope for these young people whose lives have been disrupted by war.

Wednesday, March 20th, will remain engraved in our memories as a highlight of this beautiful adventure. Under the auspices of Madame Chaynesse Khirouni, President of the Departmental Council, the class from Vinnytsia was warmly welcomed by the people of Nancy. This meeting was an opportunity to bring together young Ukrainians, their chaperones, educators, and institutional partners in a gesture of solidarity and brotherhood. The young people brought a piece of Ukraine back home with them in their suitcases, wearing emblematic Ukrainian attire.

We express our deep gratitude to all those who made this precious moment of solidarity and welcome in Nancy possible. Together, we contribute to providing Ukrainian children with a temporary haven of peace where they can flourish, learn, and hope for a better future. The stay ended on March 31st, but the memories and bonds forged will remain engraved in our hearts forever.


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