Work and school … How to manage in Nice the influx of refugees, mainly women and children

“We have to go back to the Kosovo war, at the end of the 1990s, to find such large influxes of refugees,” slips Jan Stelitano. The Secretary General of the Secours populaire des Alpes-Maritimes testifies to this: since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, “between 10 and 12 families” knock on the door of this assembly “every day”. This department is already one of those in France that welcomes the largest number of Ukrainians since February 24, according to the prefecture. As of May 4, it has already issued 5,662 temporary residence permits. It has an overwhelming majority of women and children, unlike previous waves of refugees.

According to the estimate of state services, they will account for 50% of the people received in the Marine Alps. Minor will be 30%. So the men are 20%. The demographic characteristics that had to be taken into account in order to organize this temporary protection granted by France.

Single women with ‘vulnerable’ children

According to the latest count, on Thursday, of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 5.4 million Ukrainians have fled their country, of whom only 10% are men, aged between 18 and 60, who are likely to be mobilized. They have no right to leave. Jan Stelitano asserts that “the proportion of unmarried women and children being taken in is much higher than in other waves of refugees. It is a particularly vulnerable audience.” danger? I hope the wave of solidarity that followed the outbreak of war bore ill intentions.

“The administration paid special attention to the housing of citizens that was provided, which led to further advances to the Secours populaire. Volunteer work for single men in particular. At the moment, there would be nothing to report from this point of view. I know some families have changed accommodations along the way, but not for serious problems. »

Organized outings and meetings … The most important thing above all is to quickly socialize with these people, “even if most of them want to return to Ukraine as soon as possible”. He adds so that they are not isolated.

Schools for children

It is the Nice Academy that supports the largest number of Ukrainian children in France. At the end of April, there were more than 1,200 institutions, mainly elementary, in Alpes Maritimes and Var, the directorate identifies. “At the college and high school level, many prefer to take distance learning courses,” a spokesperson said. However, unprecedented support has led to the creation of new UPE2A classes. In these modules for incoming English-speaking students, teachers note “particularly high levels of mathematics” and “the ability to adapt quickly,” we keep saying on the part of the university administration.

Among adults, the desire to learn French is also important. “We give a lot of lessons, people are in great demand,” stresses Christine Gumatt, of Secours Catholique in Cannes. Also in Nice, the Town Hall held special classes. Since March 21, they have been frequented by 200 refugees, the vast majority of whom are women, on average every day, according to the municipality.

“Authorised” work for adults “Required”

The Ministry of Labor specifies on its website: the temporary protection granted by France to persons displaced from Ukraine “allows them in particular to engage in a professional activity.” “The difference is with immigrants from other countries. If you hire an undocumented person, you can be sued,” another association member recalls. “The demand from refugees from Ukraine to work is great, but it is also linked to learning French,” Christine Gomatt continues in Cannes, where profiles are often redirected towards hotel trades in particular.

On April 7, the city of Nice organized a “Day to Facilitate Employment of Refugees in Sectors Struggling for Employment”. Including, again, from tourism. This meeting mobilized 600 people and resulted in more than 200 job offers.

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