two months after their arrival, the daily life of Ukrainian refugees and their host families

Two months after welcoming Ukrainians fleeing the war into their homes, two families from the North are wondering what to do next. Between uncertainty about the future and administrative problems.

It has been two months since the first Ukrainian refugees arrived in France to flee the war in their country. From the start of the Russian invasion, solidarity had been put in place to welcome Ukrainian families. In Lille, this is the case for Emily. She had the time, the space and the desire to be useful.

For several weeks, she has been welcoming Tatiana and her daughter Ela, who came from Ukraine, into her home.

“There was euphoria at the start, especially on the part of the children, tells the mother of the family to BFM Grand Lille. And then afterwards, it’s true that when it settles in over time you have to adapt, you have to learn to communicate despite the language barrier.”

A big question mark

The town hall asked Lille residents to offer hospitality to Ukrainians for three months. As the end of this deadline approaches, Émilie wonders what will be next for Tatiana and her daughter.

“I won’t kick her out after three months, that’s for sure. Now, how will it be afterwards? For the moment, there is a big question mark. We need to know, whether it is for us, or the families welcomed, in order to be able to project ourselves”, she confides.

Sylvie and Didier have been hosting two young Ukrainians at their home in Halluin in the North for almost two months. Between the young girls and the couple, a beautiful complicity has developed. “They came with me to the dance class from the start, it was a real pleasure”, says Sylvie, a dance teacher.

Administrative problems

For the couple, the main difficulties are administrative. “For the papers, it has never been easy,” says Sylvie. While Ukrainian refugees can obtain a temporary residence permit for six months, renewable for a maximum of three years, the two young people still face certain obstacles.

“It is mainly for the answers of the health insurance, in particular and the health problems, assures Didier. For the moment, we will advance the costs, and we will be reimbursed later.”

Elise Dherbomez and Pauline Boutin