Sauvigny les Bois. The church has just taken in a Ukrainian family. Marina, Sophia and Anastatyia now have their small apartment.
When she arrived in Nevers on Wednesday March 16, fleeing the war, the mother and her two little girls had previously lived in Kyiv. The town of Sauvigny had a vacant council flat. Everything went fast. The small family now lives in their home, far away from the Russian bombs.
It’s 2:30 p.m., not far from the church and just opposite the old city library, a group is waiting at the foot of a small building. The emotion is palpable. Two little girls are playing with each other while two young blonde women are talking. Speak quickly, undoubtedly in Ukrainian. Nobody speaks English. But one of the two young women speaks French with a slight accent.
A beautiful story of solidarity
Presentations are made. She is Lyubvo, a Ukrainian who has been living in Nevers for several years. She is accompanied by Philippe, her husband. The couple has housed the small family until then. Also present are Deputy Mayor Michèle Pauchard, an elected officer and a community worker.
The mayor, Alain Lecour, and the first assistant, Josette Cordelier, arrive very quickly. You have the key. Everyone goes upstairs. Tears flow from Marina, the mother, when she discovers the small, fully equipped apartment. Lyubvo is not surpassed but delivers the translation.
Marina explains that it is hell in Ukraine, she fled with her daughters. Her husband stayed to defend his city and country. She is very afraid for him. She never thought that Putin would invade her country. “For the vast majority of Ukrainians, the Russian army was there just to tame and intimidate the Ukrainian armed forces,” she recalls, mixing plenty of thanks into her remarks.
Now she is mostly reassured for her daughters. The oldest, Sophia (5 years old), is being educated in Sauvigny. The youngest, Anastiya (2.5 years old), will stay with her. However, she is cared for on two afternoons by the Imphy crèche.
“Everything went fast”
“The apartment was fully furnished by the city and donations from residents,” comments Mayor Alain Lecour. While the city clerk, with the help of other elected officials, completes the decor by rolling out a rug in the living room. There’s even a TV that appears to be able to receive Ukrainian channels.
“Everything happened very quickly,” explain Philippe and the mayor together. Philippe is a firefighter and the network has been informed of the possibility of accommodation in Sauvigny. And four days later it’s done for Marina. “We packed the package, but we made sure of it,” the mayor would like to emphasize in the adrenaline of the moment.
As icing on the cake, a friend of Lyubvo and Philippe will lend a car. And the CCAS will give some money to make the first necessary purchases. All this, and this is normal, has a strong impact on Marina. For the anecdote, when the two girls discover their room where toys await them, they flash wide smiles of complicity. But without forgetting to take off your shoes and stand in front of the door. Apparently they just took possession of the premises. But no doubt Dad will also be sorely missed while he waits for better days.