Élodie Brideau and her relatives have a house, with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, built directly on the site of the family business, Cime Aventures.
When war officially broke out in Ukraine, the management team of the recreational tourism company wondered how it could lend a hand. The idea of selling this residence to a family wishing to settle in the Gaspé has gained ground.
I think we make the difference, that we have the means and the ability to do so. We looked at it coldly, and it is an effort that we can make, to welcome this family in a house that can be offered for a year or a year and a half for free.explains the general manager of Cime Aventures.
The businesswoman contacted Volodymyr Zmazhenko, the father of a family of Ukrainians established for ten years in New Richmond and whose relatives are still in his country of origin.
He put her in touch with acquaintances in Kherson, a city in the south of the country that has been occupied since the start of the Russian invasion.
It’s a grandmother with her daughter, her son and their families.says Ms. Brideau.
” I hope it will go as we wish and that it will take shape quickly. It calls me to help people who need it and to meet new people. »
The majority of members of the family clan, consisting of five adults and four children, are now in the Czech Republic and have passed the biometric tests necessary for the immigration process. They can now complete the necessary forms for their arrival on Canadian soil.
However, a second part of the family is still behind and has not yet been able to complete these stages.
It is the repatriation of the family which is in Kherson which delays the departure a little. […] We will be ready to help them as soon as they arrive at Montreal airport.indicates Élodie Brideau, specifying that she does not know in how long this important step will be taken.
The main interested party discussed with the grandmother on several occasions. The fact that the Ukrainian speaks very good French, a language she taught elsewhere in her country, greatly facilitates communication.
Élodie Brideau knows that her fellow citizens involved in the Solidarité Ukraine – Baie-des-Chaleurs movement, launched last March, will be numerous to lend a hand when the project materializes. According to her, many Gaspesians are ready to make a difference in their own way.
Ms. Brideau mentions, however, that the needs of the family are currently unknown.
” It is not yet known what kind of psychological support they will need when they arrive. »
La Gaspésienne also adds that the family in question has been well informed about its potential land of welcome so that it can make an informed decision.
Mr. Zmazhenko told the lady how he lived [son arrivée dans la Baie-des-Chaleurs]that there was no Ukrainian community, but that the community was very welcoming.
Ms. Brideau says she is open to making room for these newcomers within the staff of Cime Aventures if the need arises. The manager nevertheless specifies that her team is complete.
This possibility, she says, is not what motivated her action:
We just want them to feel safe in their home and get comfortable, helping them with the first few months.
The family, with which Élodie Brideau is in contact, will not be the first to settle in Eastern Quebec. Two Ukrainians, a mother and her daughter, were recently welcomed to Rivière Bleue, in Bas-Saint-Laurent.
The elected officials applaud the initiative
The prefect of the MRC
The one, who is also mayor of New Richmond, the municipality where the local mobilization began in March, recalls that
every little bit counts.
” We understand that it is not us who can stop it [la guerre] individually and personally, but if we can take actions that will alleviate the suffering of the people who are victims of this senseless disaster, we can just [en] be proud. »
The Mayor of Bonaventure mentions that he can only applaud initiatives of this kind.
I find it super interesting, super motivating. […] We can only say congratulationslaunches Roch Audet.
According to him, Bonaventure is also an excellent land of welcome.
” It’s historic. we have always been very welcoming and very proud, too, of what we are as a community. »
It is too early, according to him, to confirm whether the City will help to welcome this family. However, he points out that the integration of newcomers is one of the priorities of his municipal administration, which recently launched a policy in this regard.
Several initiatives in Baie-des-Chaleurs
About 100 people gathered for an information evening in New Richmond last March. All of these people came to find out how they could support the Ukrainian people.
Gaspé artists also got together last week to raise funds for the Canada-Ukraine Foundation. After the show Gaspésie sings for Ukrainesome $8,500 had already been raised and donations continued to be made.
A silent auction in which 13 visual artists took part was also organized.