FactualSince the start of the war, in the basement of the Ukrainian embassy in Paris, a handful of young Ukrainian volunteers have been busy. Settled in France for a few years, they have put their studies, their work and their personal life on hold to coordinate the momentum of solidarity and guide the refugees.
A large hourglass is drawn in red marker on the easel. “Upstairs are the state services. Below, the needs of the field. We are at the junction between the two bulbs. Our role is to make the vases communicate”, explains Uliana Mosorko, a Ukrainian who arrived in France eight years ago. The flipchart stands in front of the library of the Ukrainian Embassy in France. Avenue de Saxe, in the basement of a Haussmannian building at 7and arrondissement of Paris, a handful of young people are gathered around a large oval table where computers, cables, cups of tea and notepads are piled up. “This is our HQ. Since the beginning of the conflict, this is where we spend our days, sometimes even our evenings.continues the co-founder of the Coordination Committee for Aid to Ukraine.
Like her offices, the 30-year-old performs underground but crucial work: coordinating the massive outpouring of solidarity sparked by the war in Ukraine and directing refugees to services or associations likely to provide them with the necessary assistance through a platform created in partnership with the embassy. “At critical times, the risk is to see initiatives multiply without consistency, and with a risk of redundancy. The coordination committee gives unity to the impulses of solidarity”, says Lyudmyla Tautiyeva, 28, volunteer.
This committee was born in response to the success of a form shared on social networks, which aimed to collect the contact details of people ready to welcome refugees, recounts Uliana Mosorko: “1,500 families signed up in two days! It was unmanageable and, moreover, it is confidential data. I therefore transferred this listing to the services of the Ministry of the Interior, which created a platform… Today, nearly 40,000 families have registered. »
Former president of the Association of Ukrainian Students in Paris, Uliana Mosorko, 31, quickly put together a team of around thirty young bilingual graduates, with skills in crisis management.
“Russia invaded Ukraine on a Thursday. On Sunday, the committee was already assembled in the library of the embassy. At the time, there was not even a reception center, we went to look for the refugees at the station, we took care of housing them. We worked day and night. »
After two weeks, the team is refocusing on a hard core, continues the young graduate in international relations, who requested a three-month leave of absence from her employer, the Ministry of Labor, to devote herself to the committee: “The first days, everyone took leave, put their studies on hold. But part of the group had to resume their routine. There are now fifteen of us and we rely on a network of volunteers who carry out specific missions in conjunction with associations: this ranges from accompanying refugees to the hospital to translations in the hotels where they are staying. »
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