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Victims’ children get special aid

France offers to ‘adopt’ young people hit by terror attack as ‘Pupilles de la nation’ in bid to help rebuild lives

CHILDREN of people killed in the Paris terror attacks have been asked if they want to be ‘adopted by France’ as part of the country’s efforts to help them rebuild their lives.

The status of pupille de la nation has been offered to those directly affected by the attacks which killed 130 people. Dating from 1917 and the aftermath of the First World War it offers direct aid to young people and support through their lives.

Family Minister Laurence Rossignol told them “not to hesitate” to put themselves forward for this status that allows France to help children “whose family lives have been shattered”.

It is offered to under-21s who have lost close family due to an act of war or terror and, at present, is held by 341 people, including 33 from this year’s Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks in January.

Ms Rossignol told Le Figaro it was open even to non-French children who lost a parent in the attacks.

The aid offered is proportional to the family’s finances and is, at first, mainly financial (and when first offered to thousands after the 14-18 war was funded directly by

Pupilles de la nation are supported by the Office National des Anciens Combattants et Victimes de Guerre and they can ask for the status at any point up to the age of 21.

Once the formalities are completed – a court decision is necessary plus a formal adoption – the title ‘Pupille de la nation’ is added to their birth certificate.

Young children will get financial aid towards clothing, food and their daily needs plus for health coverage and even Christmas presents and holidays – while students are exempt from university fees.

The last figures available, from 2012, show that 303 pupilles received aid totalling €710,000. Apart from financial aid they get lifelong support with administrative tasks up to and including a possible job in government, local government or the health service.

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