We are proud to announce the continuation of our significant initiative by organizing the second trip for children from Ukraine to Occitanie. Forty children will have the chance to benefit from respite vacations. This action is the result of our cooperation initiated last year, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to these young hearts wounded by the conflict.
Since the early hours of the conflict's onset in February 2022, Europe Prykhystok, the City of Montpellier, and the Occitanie Region have implemented a series of actions to support Ukraine: donation drives, organizing convoys, welcoming displaced individuals, supporting students, and working with associations. Strengthening relations with Lviv Oblast and the NGO Europe Prykhystok led to the launch of a symbolic operation called "vacances-répit" in August 2022, allowing sixty children aged between 9 and 13 to spend two weeks of vacation in France.
After the success of the first trip, Occitanie Region, the City of Montpellier, Lviv Oblast, and Europe Prykhystok decided to continue this adventure by organizing the second edition of "vacances-répit". On Saturday, July 15, forty Ukrainian children arrived at the leisure center Poséidon in La Grande-Motte (Hérault), managed by the association 3MTKD, for a stay until July 28.
These young children aged 9 to 13 come from Lviv, a city in western Ukraine, 70 km from the Polish border, far from the front lines. Despite this geographical distance, the war has deeply affected their lives, whether through having a parent engaged in the battlefield or being orphans. They bear the scars of the conflicts ravaging their country.
The enchanted interlude they will experience for fifteen days will offer them a chance to have fun and forget the horrors of war. The program includes a variety of activities such as paddleboarding, archery, tree-top adventures, swimming, foam parties, and the discovery of "toro piscine" and pétanque.
This stay takes place in a spirit of sharing and encounter, as the young Ukrainians will be integrated with a group of 100 socially disadvantaged Montpellier children. Despite the language barrier, the enthusiasm and joy of the children create a universal language that transcends words.
We are grateful to collaborate with Occitanie Region, the City of Montpellier, and Lviv Oblast to offer these children an unforgettable experience filled with happiness and friendship. Together, we foster friendship ties between our regions and sow seeds of hope in the hearts of these children. We are convinced that this stay will leave a lasting impression, creating happy memories that will accompany them throughout their lives.
Beyond fun and relaxation, these "vacances-répit" are a concrete proof of solidarity and empathy towards children affected by conflicts. It is an opportunity for them to feel surrounded, supported, and loved, thus contributing to healing the wounds of war.
On behalf of all the partners involved in this beautiful adventure, we extend our best wishes of happiness and joy to the Ukrainian and Montpellier children who will share these unforgettable moments together. Together, we are building a better future, marked by solidarity and mutual understanding.