The solidarity of the rural world of Lauragais helped to welcome a family of Ukrainian refugees to a farm in Falga.
After an eventful journey of more than 3,280 km, starting from the suburbs of Kyiv, Anna, 38, her mother Nélia, 60, and her 3-year-old daughter, with a French first name, Nicole, have finally found their haven of peace in Falga, on the Montplaisir farm by Hélène and Jérôme Delmas. Far from the drama they experienced, they gradually make their mark. Little Nicole will soon return to school in Auriac-sur-Vendinelle.
“I knew Anna, whom I met during a professional trip to Ukraine,” explains Hélène Delmas. “She has accompanied us on trips across the country. Since she speaks French very well, we got along well and stayed in touch. I thought about her a lot when the war broke out, but it’s difficult to communicate on the Internet.’ Anna, who worked in a travel agency and was in charge of professional stays or groups that came to Dynamo Kyiv or Shaktar Donesk football matches, lived in the Ukrainian capital with her husband and granddaughter.
“As early as January I suspected that there would be war because a friend sent me photos of the border with Russia, where we saw Russian soldiers digging mass graves,” she says. “But after that things happened very quickly when the Russians invaded our country. We heard bombings in the distance and took refuge in the basements, but one day when we lived next to a police station they were bombing, our apartment was also hit.” There Anna, her husband, daughter and mother decided to move to Ivanivka to seek refuge south of Kyiv.
House without water, without electricity and we heated with wood
“My father could not follow us because he is seriously ill. We were in a house without water, without electricity and we heated with wood. There was nothing to eat in the shops. That’s when we decided to go to Lviv West. My husband couldn’t follow us because the men have to stay in Ukraine to fight. We traveled standing on a crowded train. In Lviv we were placed in a refugee camp, but we decided to cross the Polish border on foot then with a refugee train to Kraków”.
From there Anna, her daughter and her mother took a plane to Lyon to stay with a family in Mâcon for a while. “We drove here by car to pick them up and bring them back to Falga,” emphasizes Hélène Delmas. “You had nothing to look for, just a small backpack. With my peasant friends from Lauragais: from the Nayral farm of the Zénith de Saint-Félix, from the GAEC des Montagnes, from Falga and from the Pradelex company, I bought a mobile home that we have set us up in the yard of my farm so they are self sufficient Revel CCAS has given us food and friends lots of clothes now that they are not eligible for refugee money which is in 45 days we are launching an appeal for financial donations
– For a donation in an envelope at the Ferme Montplaisir stand at the Saturday market or by post to the address: Hélène Delmas, 1, chemin Lapeyrade, 31 540 Le Falga. Contact: 07 82 99 38 62.