March 3, 2024


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English teacher, pastry chef or shop manager… From now on, these three Ukrainian women work in the Lourdes hotel industry.

English teacher, pastry chef or shop manager… From now on, these three Ukrainian women work in the Lourdes hotel industry.

Juliana, Angelina and Roxana are telephone shop managers, English teachers or pastry chefs… All three now work in the Louvre hotel industry. By 2023, 30% of Ukrainians hosted in Lourdes will be working in the hotel and catering industry.

Juliana is a receptionist at the Metropole Hotel and Roxana is a chambermaid. Angelina is gearing up to host the season. All three are Ukrainians. They had very different jobs there: manager of a phone and internet store, pastry chef and even an English teacher for young children.

Vincent Berthe-Monis comments: “Displaced people have the capacity to be resilient. With a high-quality education, they took on less qualified jobs overnight.”

These three women belong to the migrant community, which accounts for about 30% of the workforce in the 2023 season. While most of them returned to the hotel and catering industry, others worked in the laundry industry, as salesmen, in tobacco shops or as carpenters. , because of their initial training. Doctors find it very difficult to confirm their diploma.

250 Ukrainian families were displaced

On this day, we are at the Metropole Hotel. It is one of the four companies with displaced Ukrainians. About 250 Ukrainian families, mainly women with children, or about 400 people live in Marion.

Some of the displaced work in this hotel. This is where Juliana and Roxana work. This is where Cités Caritas, which supports these people's access to rights or their integration, has established offices.

Eleven social workers support the community, and two Ukrainian psychologists are employed to treat the shock and trauma of war and exile. However, professional integration is not easy.

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In 2022, 10% of Ukrainians are employed

At the beginning of the war most of the displaced did not think they would stay and did not plan to do so. While this took longer than expected, Cités Caritas and its partners rallied to help these people find work.

The hoteliers' association played along, but employers quickly realized the language barrier was too high… By the 2022 season, only 10% of Alrainians could work.

Cités Caritas and all the players working in language learning came together to train the community in Molière as quickly as possible. Courses tailored to individual needs: for work, daily life…

Housing, another difficulty

This is how Juliana, Roxana and Angelina got jobs. Already, Juliana envisions extending her career in France. She is waiting for shelter and hopes to be able to cook for herself and her two children. His 19-year-old daughter is pursuing her studies in hotel management in Ukraine, thanks to the Internet…

Roxana's son Jean-Dupuy started high school to become a welder. Angelina, for now, hopes to return to teaching. She also did an internship in a school.

Like many Ukrainians, planning ahead is difficult. Even today, Ukrainians come or go as the bombings slow or intensify. Some go to other borders in France or abroad…

Lourdes was chosen because of its hotel capacity to accommodate five humanitarian buses coming directly from Ukraine and about fifteen buses aimed at providing relief to places facing the influx of displaced people. But the city is again suffering from a housing shortage due to its tourism industry. Some try their luck in other cities.

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