Mickaël Fredon-Allafort and his wife, a Ukrainian who had settled in Cussac in Haute-Vienne, went to Bucharest, Romania on March 7 to take their family to France.
It is a relief for Mickaël to know that his loved ones are safe, far from the battle zones raging in Ukraine.
Eleven people live at home
Under these extraordinary circumstances, the home has grown from four to eleven people. “We are hosting three girls. Two of them are trained at the Cussac School and at the Sauveur College in Aixe-sur-Vienne. They are well received by the teachers, the children who do everything to facilitate their integration. »
Mickaël Fredon-Allafort welcomes the “great chain of solidarity” set up in Haute-Vienne for Ukrainian refugees. He welcomed the “rapid and effective” mobilization by the mayor of Cussac and the municipal council. Without forgetting the help of family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, acquaintances of acquaintances, dealers. They all helped him to realize his journey to repatriate his relatives living in Romania.
More than a month after their arrival, Mickaël Fredon-Allafort warns about the situation of host families for Ukrainian refugees.
30% increase on electricity
After the urgency of keeping women and children safe, he describes the difficulties he faces today in order to meet the needs of a family of eleven. “The state plays an important role in the show of solidarity created by the citizens, even if the ADA, the assistance from the Asylum Seekers’ Allowance granted to refugees after the prefecture has granted their provisional approval, takes time. Announced between thirty and forty-five days. During this time everything is the responsibility of the host family. »
In addition, Mickaël Fredon-Allafort reminds that the ADA is only translated into a payment card to buy groceries, for example.
All those who have chosen to take in Ukrainian refugees must also put up with “journeys to the prefecture, to the infirmary, to the school with the highest fuel prices” at a time when the French’s wallets are being hit with inflation when the Water, gas and electricity bills start to make Mickaël pale.
Since March 11, the day the family arrived from Bucharest, this household has seen a 30% increase in electricity bills. The difference over a full month is all the greater, at least +50% for the daily bill over 31 days.
A call for big business
In order to better cover the additional costs, Mickaël Fredon-Allafort asked whether the companies EDF and Saur, a French water group, had planned a system of one-off aid for families hosting refugees in order to participate in the solidarity dynamic in France.
“The two big companies told me that nothing was planned. I find it unfortunate that two groups that communicate a lot about their “moral values” do not have solidarity values to support the dynamism of French citizens,” regrets Mickaël Fredon-Allafort.
At EDF, solidarity with Ukrainian refugees is expressed more through the provision of their holiday villages and through the actions of the EDF Group Foundation. The latter activated “its emergency procedure for Ukraine” to support three NGOs working in this field – the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) – Ukraine, Unicef – Poland, SOS Attitude – Moldova – and to facilitate the transmission of donations.
Who can help host families?
So who do you turn to for help? While waiting for recovery, Mickaël Fredon-Allafort reminds that Ukrainian refugees can apply for food aid from associations like Restos du Cœur, including those in foster care. Local associations have been set up for administrative and translation support, such as Ukraïnka in Limoges (firstname.lastname@example.org).