An association helps Ukrainian refugees every week to fill their basket

Ludmila walks in all smiles with, in a transparent pocket, a little Valentine’s Day heart cut out of colored paper for the whole team of the Friday the 13th association. Every Thursday, this 67-year-old woman comes to this local in Bon -Secours, in the northern districts of Marseille to benefit from a complete solidarity basket worth 40 euros, offered at the price of 8 euros. Her eyes made up of green, matching the color of her sweater, tell of mixed feelings. Between the concern for a doctor son who remained in Kiev, the “gratitude” for the welcome she found on her arrival last March, and the life which follows its course in spite of everything.

Fingernails painted pink, ponytail pulled high on her head, Inna remains discreet about her age. His mother still lives in Dnipro, in central Ukraine. She fled the country by bus via Poland with her 13-year-old son, now a college student in Marseille. “The problem is that I can’t find French lessons and I want to learn the language to be able to work, my allowance is 300 euros, which is very little to live on,” she confides. via google trad conversation on the phone. “In Ukraine, I had a place to live, I had a job in marketing, a car. I felt like a valuable person there,” she adds.

“Many single women with children”

With tired features, Denys, 37, hands the team his shopping cart. Her children aged 3 and 8 go to school here and learn French. He too is waiting for the end of the war to return to Ukraine, where his sister still lives. “Many hope to return, but when, they do not know,” says Bernard Nos, co-founder of Friday 13, who is working to make this distribution a friendly moment. A room with seats allows you to wait while waiting to enter the room, in turn. Behind sunglasses with smoked lenses, David, an employee of the association, interprets in Russian: “I come from Georgia, I arrived in Marseille in 2018. What they went through, what they feel, I I experienced it too. I try to help them as best I can. He answers questions and carries the filled bags to climb the few steps at the exit of the room.

He also does the accounts before going to the checkout: a small grocery corner allows you to complete the basket with products sold between 1 euro and, for a pack of nappies or infant milk, 5 euros. The team also slips candies into the bag for the children. “There are many single women with children, elderly people, but also fathers and a group of deaf-mutes, the first to arrive here because of their handicap which does not allow them to hear the alarms the bomb, testifies Monique Blanc, co-founder of the association. It is a public in pain but in solidarity with each other. They come to us by word-of-mouth, not referral from social workers like other distributions. It keeps the file of the 300 families registered to date up to date: proof of the ADA (allowance for asylum seekers) is necessary to benefit from the parcels. The association issued Thursday 42 solidarity baskets, but most often it is rather 70. “It’s the end of the month, notes Bernard Nos. Finances are tight. »

source site