As Covid-19 sweeps throughout the world, countries have sought to protect their citizens by shutting their borders.

Our friends from Bienvenue en France have found themselves far from their homelands and locked down here.

Véronique Debieuvre and her team of Bienvenue en France volunteers were determined to use modern communication technology to maintain social ties around our shared interests, including culture, museums, the French language and cooking to name but a few. Their efforts were driven by the aim to ensure our friends from around the globe, representatives of their countries, continue to make happy memories during their time in France.

Marie-Thérèse François-Poncet
Founding President of Bienvenue en France

Dear friends,

Now that we have withstood the test of confinement and that there is some light at the end of the tunnel,
we regain confidence yet remain cautious.

But before offering you some ideas, my sincere thoughts go to your loved ones affected by this pandemic.

What we can already know is this: life will only be able to start again "as before" in a few months, so we must now innovate in order to offer you as many activities as possible in a difficult economic climate.

And to continue to move forward pragmatically, let us rethink our immediate future in a way that will initially differ from what we knew merely a few months ago.

Our Executive Committee has just met and the Forum we are developing for after the holidays will be in a more condensed form, the organisation of certain activities in line with regulations and restrictions that would persist then, and the implementation of a number of exceptional outings that shall be open to everyone…

All of this stays in keeping with our goal of welcoming and friendship.

This challenge is within the reach of all of us and it is therefore together that we will rise to it.
Many of our diplomatic friends have left France this year without our being able to say goodbye but that they know they will remain in our hearts.
To all, we wish you a good, relaxing holiday and are waiting for you for a shared return to friendship where isolation will no longer be the order of the day.

Kind regards,

Véronique Debieuvre - Vice President
(Acting President)

This text was translated into English by Jane Etienne