As the conflict persists in Ukraine, a gesture of empathy and solidarity blossoms in the city of Brest, Finistère. From August 1st to 10th, 2023, 22 young Ukrainian children aged six to twelve found refuge in Brest, thanks to a collaboration between municipalities and us. This 24th initiative for Europe Prykhystok aims to provide children with a break from the conflicts and bombings that punctuate their daily lives in their homeland.
Our Europe Prykhystok program, in partnership with the Brest City Hall, rallied to organize this restorative stay. The goal is simple yet profound: to allow these children to momentarily disconnect from the tense atmosphere of war and regain a semblance of normalcy during ten days of rejuvenation.
Emilie Kuchel, Deputy Mayor in charge of educational policies and coordinator of this initiative, emphasizes: "It allows them to change their environment for ten days, to become children again and to forget the war a little." It is in this spirit that these young Ukrainians were welcomed warmly and enthusiastically by the City of Brest.
Among the hosted children, two young Ukrainian girls expressed their joy in being able to explore a new environment. They exclaimed with enthusiasm, "We can't wait to see the ocean and swim in it!" A legitimate desire to take advantage of this unique opportunity to relax and have fun, far from the tensions that have marked their daily lives.
In parallel with this stay, a new initiative is already being prepared for the school year. A transplanted class, organized in partnership with Brest, is about to welcome a group of students for an extraordinary educational and human experience. This approach offers children the opportunity to become familiar with a different environment, to learn from each other, and to create lasting memories.
These moments of respite and escape, however brief, have the power to leave a positive and lasting impact in the lives of these young Ukrainians, reminding them that amidst turmoil, moments of joy and sharing are always possible.
In conclusion, sincere thanks are extended to our friends at Francas, Brest, and Pervomaisk for this initiative that lasted for about ten days, but most importantly, for the memories it will leave with the children for a very long time. This gesture of solidarity transcends borders and demonstrates humanity's capacity to bring comfort and hope, even in the darkest of times.