By Ann-Laure Retaio
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It’s been four years since Caroline and Jerry Jonestwo residents of Los Angeles (USA), bought all the buildings House Perrineto La Chapelle-aux-Riboule. After some work they wanted to make one summer school for young people Americans. But as of March 11, 2022, the couple put all their plans for the building on hold. “Jerry saw Facebook requests to host Ukrainians. We have plenty of space, so he immediately thought of taking someone in,” explains Caroline Jones, who was a little more reluctant than her husband.
In winter we do not open this part of the school because oil heating consumes a lot. We have 90 to 100 liters of fuel per day. I was wondering how we were going to pay.
But the couple could count on the great generosity of those around them to counter these accusations.
100% of my time
From March 11 to March 21, 2022, the Maison de Perrine was captured by eighteen Ukrainians, that is, eleven women and seven children. “The municipality helps us a lot. She did everything for the children to come to the village school. »
“I dedicate 100% of my time to them, even though they are now independent in cooking and cleaning. But they bring their everyday problems with them: care, medicine, diet…” Every day, the owner of the premises multiplies shopping trips by car, takes refugees to the prefecture, to the doctor or just to the bank. “If we could find a minibus within our budget, it would be easier for us to get around,” says Caroline.
Couple looking for a minibus
Four days before the arrival of the Ukrainian refugees, the Jones family welcomed Reed Rogers, a young Texan engineer who was to help the couple during their first stay this summer in La Chapelle aux Riboules. “He helped us a lot,” admits Caroline Jones.
In terms of needs, the couple believe they are well provided for today. “Our neighbors and the British community have been very generous. If we had accommodated a few more families, we would have run out of single beds, but that’s about it. Daily food needs are numerous. “Rasta hearts also help us a lot. We accept donations of pasta, rice, meat, butter…”
Caroline and Jerry Jones also offered their charges some land to grow a vegetable garden. The idea is also to entertain these mothers whose husbands are left behind in a country where there is a war going on.
When they arrived, they found that we had a lot of vintage costumes, so I decided to throw them a costume party with a big meal. The goal is not to minimize what is happening in their country, but to change their minds. They have a lot of sadness and stress. They often sit on their mobile phones to get the news. It’s frustrating. We also pray a lot together. We became real friends.
Daily manual labor or sports activities are offered.
This summer, Ukrainian refugees and their children will be required to join host families, while young Americans will stay at Maison de Perrine. If host families agree to host them for three weeks, they should not hesitate to make themselves known through the Facebook page “Ukrainians in La Maison de Perrine”.
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