In a respite effort far from the war, 28 adolescents aged 15 to 17, originating from various regions of Ukraine, are experiencing a moment of rejuvenation in the heart of the Pays de la Loire. Bearing the invisible scars of the conflict gripping their country, they immerse themselves in cultural activities and exchanges, providing a welcome break in their lives.
Each of these adolescents has a story to tell. Max, 15 years old, keeps the echo of anti-aircraft alerts on his phone, a constant reminder of Ukraine's instability. Even in Nantes, the roar of planes awakens memories of Russian assaults.
The Cemea of the Pays de la Loire welcome these young people. They take part in dance, theater, and singing classes organized by the Palace of Children and Youth in Rivne. This collaboration is part of the "Europe Prykhystok" program, offering moments of respite to those affected by the war. This second collaboration between Cemea and Europe Prykhystok underscores their ongoing commitment to this cause.
For Carine Sergent, the organizational leader of these stays and the accompanying adult who lives with these children during their adventure, this experience is vital for the youth. The war has touched each of them up close. Two girls from the group have lost their father in combat. The planes in Nantes revive painful memories.
This stay goes beyond the scope of activities. It encourages exchange between young Ukrainians and French, thus promoting interculturality. In addition to learning a few words of French, they share their experiences and build lasting bonds.
We are convinced, along with our CEMEA partners, that these young people bring a unique perspective with them. Their courage in the face of adversity and their desire to live despite everything are exemplary. As their stay comes to an end, their impact will extend far beyond. Thanks to all our friends who have contributed to the realization of this stay, which ends today, August 18. Let's wish them a safe journey and courage.