mentroit. They thank all those who have dedicated themselves to welcoming the Syrian family

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Posted on March 26, 2022

On April 12, 2018 a Syrian family: Ghalia and Georges, the parents, now aged 51 and 62, with their 4 children Khalil, 26, Kamil, 23, Ebrahim and Gabra, 22-year-old twins, came in with no money Malestroit because all her goods were destroyed and stolen. They departed Beirut at 3:30 a.m. to set foot on French soil at Orly-Paris Airport at 7 a.m. The family lived in Yacoubieh, a village in Syria near the city of Aleppo, not far from Turkey.

The members and volunteers of the Passerelle d’espoir association, chaired by Emile Dolo, were then deployed to facilitate the reception of these Christian refugees from the East. In addition, the association was founded specifically with the aim of fulfilling this funding mandate. “The association has now been dissolved since last January because the goal has been achieved, since the family is now independent…” explains Emile Dolo.

This Friday, March 26th, a ceremony was organized by Emile Dolo and Jean-François Le Quernec, who were president and vice-president of the Passerelle d’espoir association. The meeting brought together 70 people from the family: donors, members and volunteers of the Passerelle d’espoir association, the mayor of Malestroit Bruno Gicquello, Father Yves Carteau, parish priest of Malestroit, Sister Marie-Claude and Sister Marie-Paule, former Augustinian prioress , cultural associations, administrative services. Everyone was thanked for having mobilized around the Passerelle d’espoir association for almost 4 years to promote the integration of the Syrian family…

4 years ago, around this family of Passerelle d’espoir, with the support of the Parish and the Augustinian Congregation, an emergency room and full care was set up: accommodation, daily care, learning the French language, on-site integration, trips to the authorities and health workers… In the early days, the family’s situation remained very precarious. Every day, eight people took care of the construction of the lodgings made available to them by the Augustinian community, where the family stayed for 18 months, shopping from the merchants, contact with the Restos du Coeur and the bank, the development of a garden. 15 retired teachers had taken care of learning our language, dividing the family into three groups: that of the parents, the two eldest and that of the twins. Month after month, year after year, the family has gained autonomy and support has decreased…

Today 3 out of 4 boys have a driver’s license. The fourth, the Gabra twin, who calls himself Simon, is about to take him down. He works in Pontivy, where he trains a CAP electrician. All the men in the family have a job! The father gardens in private households. He is also a sacristan in the parish. The eldest son is a companion and carpenter in Sérent. Kamil is training in catering and Hébrahim aka Raymond, the other twin, is preparing a GAP as a student gardener landscaper and works in Sérent…

“Our support mission is over. However, the family will always be able to count on a small core of volunteers, of which I am a part, when they are asked and in need…” concludes Jean-François Le Quernec, before inviting the gathering to a toast of friendship…

“A lot of people tell us: why don’t we continue to welcome the Ukrainians now? I answer on the one hand because the war in Ukraine started when our association was just dissolved, and on the other hand because our members are aging, with an average of volunteers who are now 75 years old at 80”, explains Emile Dolo… .

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