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"The realization of being so far away from my family puzzled me at first. But then I felt the joy that I was getting closer to fulfilling my dream of visiting France and satisfying my gastronomic dreams of tasting French cuisine. Eventually, I realized that food tastes best when surrounded by friends and to feel safe. I dream of tasting fresh croissants on the seaside with the family and friends I found in Dieppe in the nearest future. Now I wish the war is over and all the children can feel safe."


"Lev, 12 years old, from Rivne, the participant of a respite stay camp in Dieppe, Normandie, France in June 2023

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“Impressions of visiting France overcame my expectations. I even couldn’t think that I would find so many friends in France. We still have a communication. Of great value for me is their support of Ukraine and solidarity with us. I believe in victory and the possibility to meet all my new friends from Dieppe in Rivne. France is great! I hope to visit it again in the nearest future. Unforgetable moments in memory for the rest of my life! Europe Prykhystok can change your life!”


"Anna, 15 years old, from Rivne, the participant of a respite stay camp in Dieppe, Normandie, France in June 2023"


It was an incredible journey: museums, trips, performances - everything remained in my memory forever! But I believe that nothing can replace live communication. Meetings, evenings that we spent together with French peers will never be forgotten. I'm glad I have such wonderful friends!


Kateryna, 15 years old, from Trostyanets who participated in the Transplanted classes in Gennevilliers in February 2023


I’m impressed by French culture. I’m very appealed to France’s architecture and landscapes, but I’m even more impressed by its History. Dunkerque has lived through the war, the occupation, and now peace has returned. These moments away from violence remind us that a new horizon is possible, some of my friends had forgotten that.


Nestor, 16 years old, from Bucha, who participated in a respite stay in Dunkerque in February 2023.

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A trip to France… It is difficult to convey the full range of positive emotions that overwhelm me! For a very long time I dreamed of visiting Paris, but still did not realize that I had really been there! The inhabitants of France sacredly cherish the architectural sights of their native land, and thanks to this, being a guest, you can enjoy the ancient beauty of buildings and landscape. I am very glad that I was able to visit this marvelous country!


Anna, 15 years old, from Trostyanets who participated in the Transplanted classes in Gennevilliers in February 2023

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I had an unforgettable time in this summer camp. The French children are so nice, I keep in touch with many of them. They give me strength. We celebrated my birthday in Quiberon. For a brief moment, I forgot the reality of war and I could enjoy the present time. We danced, partied and did everything no longer possible in Ukraine. France is engraved in my heart. I’ll come back when the war is over. I fell in love with your culture.


Oleksandra, 16 years old, from Khmelnytskyi who participated in a respite stay camp in Quiberon (Brittany) in summer 2022.

We all experienced extremely difficult things during the war. Trostyanets, our town, was occupied by the Russian army for almost two months. My house has no roof, no windows or doors anymore. We are all deeply affected by the war. Gennevilliers is a haven of peace, we do sports, children can study. They rediscover what a peaceful life is while they had forgotten its flavor.


Yulia Krankina, Ukrainian teacher who taught for a transplanted class in Gennevilliers in February 2023.

The General Federation of PEP has a solidarity-based, humanistic and transnational program. By welcoming nearly 180 Ukrainian children, we are reaffirming our values to the victims of war. During our summer camps, the bonds forged between children allowed them to develop trust within the group. It showed them that Europe supports them. A more peaceful future is possible. This generation will be at the heart of the country’s reconstruction once the peace process is underway. There must be hope.


Dominique Gillot, President of the Fédération Générale des Pupilles de l’Enseignement Public (PEP), which organized respite stays for over 170 children in summer and fall 2022.

These stays were a strong human adventure, extremely enriching for the members of the animation teams and, most importantly, for the children. The language barrier may be an obstacle for adults, but not for these young people! They were able to understand each other and forge bonds in no time at all, through their gestures, their smiles and the use of translation apps on their cell phones. It gives meaning to the collective work undertaken for the success of this project.


Erwan Dagan, Director of a center who welcomed children in a respite stay in Torcé-Viviers-en-Charnie (Mayenne) in summer 2022.

We do not forget that more than 80% of our city has been destroyed during the Second World War. In our families, we all have grandparents, relatives who were victims of the bombings, who experienced the horrors of war, exile and the return to a devastated city afterwards. The young people we hosted in Dunkerque amazed us with their intellectual curiosity and resilience. The looks, the smiles and the exchanges that took place with those who were able to meet them are the greatest reward, and I can only encourage other communities to embark on this adventure.


Patrice Vergriete, Mayor of Dunkerque and President of the Communauté Urbaine, who welcomed Ukrainian children in February 2023.

Europe Prykhystok’s initiative is essential. Our children were able to see what the future might look like after our victory. They have a better understanding of why we resist and, since they came back, they play a more important role in the community.

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Maksym Kozystskyy, Governor of the Lviv Region

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