Le Havre associations condemn discrimination between Ukrainian refugees and others

Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the sub-prefecture of Le Havre on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 around. In the procession there were associative activists, members of especially the RESF (Réseau éducation sans frontières), teachers, associations of parents of students, especially FCPE 76, and the affected families.

According to these associations, which have jointly invited people to meet, in Le Havre, at least twenty children and young people (18 according to the last census), some of whom were born in France, go to school during the day and do not know where to sleep at night with their families. By calling 115, these families are sometimes allocated emergency accommodation, but it has to be changed every other week or even every week.

“There is double standards between Ukrainian refugees and others!”

The families present at the demonstration come from Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Georgia, Afghanistan and they are left on the street or on short-term stays while they have children, explains Alain Ponvert, coordinator of Le Havre of the Education Without Borders Network, who condemns discrimination against Ukrainian refugees : “There is double standards! The French Republic is currently welcoming and housing more than 70,000 people of Ukrainian origin. We are not told that Le Havre is not capable of housing a dozen families with children of other origins, it is not possible! ”

And Alain Ponvert to point out what he considers hypocrisy: “When we fight for freedom, equality, secularism, brotherhood, which we are very rightly told every time, we can not arrange the reception of refugees, it is not possible, it is inhuman!”

These associations contacted the town hall of Le Havre, who referred them to the sub-prefecture, which refers them to the emergency number 115, which is responsible for finding emergency housing for the homeless. The protesters were not received by the sub-prefect on Wednesday night, but the associations were to have an agreement in the coming days.

“I’m doing well in school, I want a house”

Chrysolith, 8 years old and born in France, came to demonstrate in front of the sub-prefecture with his mother, whose requests for regulation were rejected. Chrysolite goes to school, as does her big sister, who is preparing for her diploma. But in the evening, Chrysolith never knows where to sleep: “I would rather have a house than sleep on the street, I feel good at school, my sister also feels good at school, I want a house, but we do not want it!” The little boy loves school a lot, especially writing: “I’m not very good at writing, but I like it because I’m looking to get better.”

Deus, he has lived for five years in Le Havre, his youngest was born in France, she knew the street from she was six months. Deus, however, has a promise of employment, he is an electrician, and despite this, all his requests to regulate his situation have been rejected. He is still waiting for a new answer, but in the meantime there is no fixed roof, and he must constantly reassure his eldest daughter of 7 years: “As soon as school is over, she asks us questions, she asks us ‘Tonight, where are we going to sleep?’, She is very anxious and we do not always have an answer to give her.”

Deus faces, but acknowledges that it is “complicated” : “Sometimes there’s no room for 115 and we have to make it.” Deus has supporters who accompanied him to the protest, including one of his 7-year-old daughter’s teacherswhich slides: “We can not care, this is happening in my class, in front of my eyes!”

“We’ve been to Le Havre for eight years, we’re fine here!”

Louis * and his mother Juliette * (* their first name has been changed) are in the same situationsays Louis: “I’m going to last year, I have a matriculation exam at the end of the year, it’s not easy to keep up with the class because we are constantly changing places, my friends support me, tell me it’s going to be decided, but it is surely difficult, we come from Kinshasa, we have been in Le Havre for eight years and we are doing well here! “

That we throw these children from hotel to hotelAlain Ponvert finds this outrageous: “Because these kids somehow want to go to school, they stick around, some are excellent students, there is no absenteeism!”

These associations demand that we find sustainable housing for these families as soon as possible.

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