Near Montpellier / La Grande-Motte: five days of peace for 120 young Ukrainians

120 young Ukrainians, guides and organizers of the stay (©KB)

They are 10 to 17 years old and have spent every day in hell for a year Ukrainebelow bombs of the Russians. These scarred teenagers have seen the horrific images of the bodies of children, mothers and fathers, often mutilated loved ones on the streets and in the rubble of their buildings, schools and other buildings.

Every day, the footage broadcast on TV is horrifying. We can only feel strongly about these Ukrainians and especially about these lost children. From this Thursday until Monday January 23 inclusive, 120 of them find peace and quiet on the page Poseidon leisure center IN La Grande Motte. They fled the bombs to find a haven of peace on the coast of Languedoc.

Karim Belhacene with one of the young Ukrainians were pleased with this reception
Karim Belhacene with one of the young Ukrainians were pleased with this reception (©KB)


A year after the start of the war in Ukraine, there are many initiatives and efforts by various associations and NGOs working for the cause of children in this country. Last August, this entertainment center had already welcomed a group of 24 young Ukrainians thanks to a partnership with the city of Montpellier. This month of January is the union and cooperation between the public organization “Sports and Culture – Minsk Massif”, the association. SOS Montpellier Ukraine and the club 3MTKD Social Sports Culture which enable these 120 Ukrainian minors affected by the conflict to be able to find themselves in a harmonious environment away from the horrors they experience every day. A welcome break in the peace, but all too brief. The organizers know that the return of these children will be difficult.

How did the event happen? “The association “SOS Montpellier Ukraine” urgently contacted “3MTKD Sport Culture Social” last week to welcome 120 children and teenagers from January 19 to 23, we told Banco”, reveals. Karim Bellahcenethe indefatigable president of the formed club.

Ten friends

This group of young people, who arrived this Thursday morning with two coaches, are supervised by ten friends because men do not have the right to leave Ukrainian territory, the war forces. The objective is to enable them to take advantage of the natural and peaceful environment of this extraordinary place in the heart of this seaside resort. During their stay at the seashore, they will be able to perform a multitude of activities during these five days”, he adds.

The fun and sports activities supervised by 3MTKD animators will be many and varied: mountain biking, tree climbing, beach volleyball, table tennis, archery, multisport, pétanque, virtual reality, climbing, paintball, creative and artistic workshops , karaoke, cinema and dance evenings.

The mobilization of employees and volunteers has been strong within the association since the announcement of their arrival. The Poseidon site in La Grande-Motte offers these young people a warm welcome and a quality stay in the best possible conditions, despite the very short organizational deadlines and the very limited budget available, €20 per day and per person.

Videos: currently on Actu
First meal at Poseidon Leisure Center this Thursday
First meal at Poseidon Leisure Center this Thursday (©KB)

This happy initiative is the will of the public organization “Sports and culture. The massif of Minsk”. Established in 2020, before the war it developed and organized sports competitions and cultural events in cooperation with local sports clubs on Ukrainian territory. Since the beginning of the conflict, this organization has been committed to enabling children who are collateral victims of this conflict to go abroad for rehabilitation, but also for rest, in partnership with other organizations, such as
“Red Cross of Kyiv” and with the support of benevolent donors. These trips are financed by the families of these young people and by these organizations.

It was initially supported by Germany, which hosted Ukrainian children five times in its youth centers, offering them accommodation, food and a cultural program. They were also carried out by Spain, Hungary, Turkey and Austria. Children, with disabilities or whose families are military or displaced, come from various occupied cities of Ukraine, Bucha, Mariupol, Irpin, Kherson, Lugansk. They are supervised by teachers and guides from Kyivet de Dnipro, who traveled with them to the south of Montpellier to enjoy a quiet life for a few days, before returning to their sad reality.

Ukrainian flag on the shores of the Mediterranean
Ukrainian flag on the shores of the Mediterranean (©KB)

An unprecedented animation in the colors of Ukraine, with the flag raised on top of a mast, made by Poseidon in La Grande-Motte, the foundation of brotherhood. A few meters from the shore of the Mediterranean, this united ark replaces the black clouds of chaos with the sun, “which is the only star of tolerance, it shines for all”, to quote one of the “thoughts” of Kheira Chakor, a known. academic and scientist, distilled in social networks.

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