Two hours of normality

By Sarah RaparoliMarc Lazzarini Switch to German for original article

Women and their children managed to flee their Ukrainian homeland after traumatic experiences. A day-care centre in Luxembourg wants to give these people a bit of normality back and facilitates an informal get-together called Ukrainian Coffee Morning. The Lëtzebuerger Journal visited one of these meetings.

It is a grey April morning when we arrive in front of the Crèche Sunflower Montessori in Findel. The door opens and a woman leads us into the kitchen of the day care centre. She is preparing the last things and points to the counter in front of us: various cakes and baked goods, colourful sweets and delicious tingles – things that make children's hearts beat faster. Anne is part of the team at the Sunflower Montessori Day Care Centre. The team that will do everything possible today to make the next two hours as pleasant as possible for the women and children who are about to arrive. There are still ten minutes to go and final preparations are being made in all the rooms and corners of the building. The cheerful atmosphere spread by the entire team makes us forget the dreary weather outside during our visit.

We are led into a large room: It is bright and striking because of its many different shades of colour. There are toys lying around everywhere. It is a room associated with fun and joy, a room that is meant to evoke enthusiasm. This is exactly what those in charge here want to achieve. Because the women and children who arrive on this Wednesday morning have been through the worst. They have fled their homes, leaving behind not only all their belongings, but also their loved ones – partners, fathers, siblings, family members. Since February 24, the lives of these women and children have been dominated by a new daily life, a daily life far away from the country that is still their homeland, but where they could not stay.

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