Ground support for Ukrainian migrants in Poland

  • Ukraine
  • Poland
  • Goal 16: Peace, Justice ans Strong Institutions
  • Goal 1: End Poverty
  • Goal 5: Gender Equality
  • Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
  • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Description

Migration Consortium is a group of nine non-governmental organizations that are the most experienced, influential and recognisable leaders in the area of refugee assistance in Poland. These nine organizations have been collaborating since 2017. Working together as a group leads to collective impact, to support each other and to build on common experiences. As a result, the Migration Consortium can assist the communities and immigrants they work with in a much more efficient way. Members of Migration Consortium focus on pulling their expertise to coordinate services and integrate Ukrainian refugees into Polish society. Migration Consortium hereby shares its knowledge, skills and capacity with other partners – public institutions and civil society organizations.

In brief

A consortium of established Polish NGOs, working together since 2017, are leading the response to the needs of refugees at the Polish border near Ukraine.

The challenges

More than 4,6 million Ukrainians have fled their country since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, 2022. The Polish society has welcomed more than 2,6 million of them with open arms and human compassion.

Countless civil society organizations have provided the exhausted refugees with the bare essentials. As the war continues, it is likely that an increasing number of refugees will be in Poland for an extended period of time. As a result, there is an urge for consistent and ongoing support beyond the bare essentials. Host agencies must create sustainable social, legal and economic structures which foster the integration of refugees into society, especially on local levels.

Currently, there are many short-term volunteers on the ground. However, the need for assistance is long-term. Unfortunately, many people will not be able to go back to their destroyed homes in Ukraine once the war ends. This situation is unique and the path to solutions seems challenging. Our biggest fear is that all this good will will come to an abrupt end. We are confident that working together is the only way forward.

The integration of Ukrainian refugees into Polish society poses both unprecedented and familiar challenges. To start, the current wave of refugees arriving in Poland from Ukraine has never happened before. Therefore, there are insufficient established scalable solutions that could be easily implemented to assist immigrants. There is a dire need for professionals to meet a wide array of needs from education, law, housing, medical care, social services, etc. - especially those willing and ready to work with a large number of refugees on short notice.

Additionally, sustainability of these efforts is key to long-term success for refugees. The humanitarian financial aid needs to be complemented by local Polish initiatives in order to build a system of sustainable solutions. Understanding the important socio-political task of mastering the mixed view and reception of Polish natives toward Ukrainian refugees is key. To prevent backlash and build buy-in, honest communication between all stakeholders is encouraged every step of the way. This provides a solid foundation for host communities and municipalities across the country to continue managing these solutions

Action and Impact

Migration Consortium's influence comes from the strength of its members and their work in four major cities in Poland. Local organizations know how the system works and what the obstacles are. Each NGO brings its own strength, skills and experience with migration and integration. The common ground for our nine organizations is their proximity to refugees and the know how to respond to their problems. Our goal is to secure financial, organizational and merit support for all member organizations and to other key actors to facilitate their ongoing, life-saving work.

During the first month of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, member organizations offered their help to more than 23,000 Ukrainian refugees in many different ways.
Examples include the facilitation of transport of the most vulnerable people from Ukraine to Poland (Polish Hospitality Foundation); We also set up of a network of 20 psychologists working in the refugee shelters in Warsaw (Polish Migration Forum); We started a 24/7 refugee hotline in Ukrainian language (Our Choice Foundation); We manage a humanitarian aid center in Lublin together with the city hall (Homo Faber Association) We set up an online platform addressing all legal questions in three languages (Ukrainian, English and Polish) available to refugees and volunteers (Association for Legal Intervention).

Our assistance goes beyond one on one meetings and has a systemic approach. Countless refugees have benefited from our collective and coordinated assistance.

Further, the Migration Consortium aims to work together to offer general and systemic solutions to refugees in Poland:
- Present ideas and good practices of integration to the local and national administration.
- Expose new issues when they appear and provide tools to mitigate them.
- Support local governments and local communities to help them integrate the refugees.
- Advise and coordinate the international humanitarian response in Poland, to fulfill our objective - refugee integration without encampment.
- Communicate our integration strategies with neighboring countries and the European Union.

There are three levels to the impact of the Migration Consortium's work:

(1) For the individual – we will offer direct support to immigrants by providing them different types of assistance (psychological, legal, social, vocational etc.) always tailored to the individual’s needs.

(2) For member organizations and future partners: – we will strengthen them within the Consortium to make their work more efficient and sustainable. We will divide and implement solutions for better integration of immigrants on local, regional and national levels.

(3) We advise Poland and other neighbouring countries on refugee admission strategies. This means showing and teaching all operating governmental and non-governmental bodies good practices of humanitarian responses.

The Consortium of 9 NGOs needs your support to continue providing the necessary services to Ukrainian refugees. On their behalf, thank you!

video : https://youtu.be/GWhZwNin7Uk

Tax deduction possible in the following countries : Poland

Partners : Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Association for Legal Intervention, Nomada Association, Homo Faber Association, Polish Migration Forum Foundation, Foundation Our Choice, Migrant Info Point, Polish Hospitality Foundation, Amnesty International Poland

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