home helpers in need of recognition are touring France

“Is it good for the room?” “ Smartphone in one hand, pen in the other, notebook on her knees, Aurore (the people named whose name does not appear wished to remain anonymous) tries to solve the last logistical problems, using the back seat of the car as office. Sachets of Pitch brioches testify to the length of the trip and the short time allowed for lunch breaks. Either way, restaurants are closed and budgets are tight. And then, these three are used to: when you are a home help, “We live a little in our car”.

“On the weekends, I sometimes do 8 am-9pm without a break. I eat between two recipients while driving, if I can! Otherwise, I stuff myself with Vichy pastilles! “, explains, with her Nice accent, Marie, 51, seated at the front. She has been doing this job for twenty years.

“Aurore, her thing is the Pitches!” ” At 40, she became a home worker in 2019, in villages in the Pyrenees: “I responded to the ad on Thursday; the following Monday, I started, without any training. “ At the wheel, it’s Anne, 50, life assistant for five years in Bordeaux: “Recently, I’ve been doing nights. It’s “hard” at night, there are all the anxieties that go up and you can’t call anyone. “

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These women have embarked on a strange adventure: a “Road trip” as they say, meeting their fellow home helpers, but also elected officials able to relay their cause. In February, on their holidays, they crisscrossed the South and the West, from Tarbes to Nice, from Lozère to Morbihan, via Loir-et-Cher.

At the end of March, on the eve of the third confinement, they resumed the road for the Grand-Est, sleeping with locals, and even in the occupied theater in Dijon. That day, they have an appointment in an associative room in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges (Vosges).

Car keys clutched in her hand, Christelle stops hesitantly on the doorstep: “Is it okay here for the meeting?” “ At 48, she has been an assistant for five years for an association, at the rate of 104 hours per month. “Finally, I am paid 104, but I do more …” She is blowing. “Why did you come? “, Anne asks in her soft voice. “Bah, things have to move. On wages, working conditions… On everything, what! There are five more girls who quit this month, for just one job. If we stay with our ass in our chair, nothing will budge. ” A good summary of what prompted Anne, Aurore and Marie to take the road to come here.

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