WISEs are with Ukrainian people

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, ENSIE members and their members have been very active to support Ukrainians refugees in Europe. On this page you will for each country a list of actions led by WISEs, the support that the WISEs are receiving from their public authorities and the type of additional support requested by the WISEs.

Romania

Actions led by ENSIE's member, RISE Romania and its members: 

Ateliere Fara Frontiere (AFF) : Opened 7 positions for vulnerable workers from Ukraine

Educlick, part of AFF, donated twenty reconditioned laptops to NGOs and centres that actively support Ukrainian refugees so Ukrainians can continue their studies. Organisations and education institutions that need laptops or computers can apply to Educlick

Concordia and Caritas are hosting and feeding refugees - Concordia around 40 every day. Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights visited Concordia at the beginning of April. 

Atelierul de Panza: made some collect from individuals and committed to give 10% of the value of each order placed by companies through the protected unit to an NGO helping Ukrainians refugees.

Alaturi de Voi Fondation (ADV)  as a  partner in the EU4Youth project - Social Innovation Impact - a strategic partnership project, that involves Romania, Moldova and Ukraine, reshaped their project activities and priorities to provide support to Ukraine and Ukrainians. They created a distribution centre to provide humanitarian aid to Ukrainians, provide, provide assistance to refugees who come to Romania with resettlement, social integration, and counselling / psychological support.

ADV itself has been involved in organizing a humanitarian transport of medicines and objects essential for the survival of those who remained in Ukraine. ADV also co-financed the establishment of a transition centre for refugees in Iasi, organized by FONSS - Federation of Non-Governmental Organizations for Social Services. In the future, ADV wants to open a program for the integration of refugees into our own social enterprises. More information here

Support from public authorities

Municipalities supported the actions led by social enterprises. For example, the transition centre for refugees in Iasi was established in a building provided by the Iasi City Hall. The humanitarian assistance provided by our partners from Tulcea is supported by the Tulcea County Council.

Ateliere Fara Frontier and RISE Romania are represented in the joint working group on refugee employment at the Ministry of Labor, and proposed measures  in support of work integration of refugees via WISEs, this measure has ben accepted now awaits for ESF support

Type of additional support needed:

Romania is asking to have funding support for WISEs contracts by the State.

Moldova

Actions led by ENSIE's member, Eco-Razeni and its members:

Most of Eco-Razeni’s members are involved in refugee support actions: distribution of food and hygiene packages, accommodation, transport services, activities for children and young people, purchase of medicines, info support, etc. These actions are carried out with the support of various European donors and partners. More than 300 thousand refugees entered the Republic of Moldova, of which about 100 thousand decided to stop here and live temporarily in refugee centres (10%) and in families (90%).

  • Centrul Contacts, with EU support, launched a national campaign to show the involvement of social enterprises in supporting refugees. More information here
  • Floare de cires Catering prepared and delivered around 13,400 portions of food in boxes (breakfast, lunch and diner) to 11 refugee centres in Ialoveni district and Chisinau municipality.
  • In Răzeni, people are sheltering in their homes over 80 Ukrainian refugees, almost half of them are children and young people and Eco-Razeni provided the children with Moldovan sweets and puzzles.

To learn more about their work, you can go here, here and here

Support from public authorities

Public authorities are particularly concerned with managing the flow of refugees, public order, accreditation and arrangement of refugee centres, etc. Through the public institutions (community social workers), the necessary goods are distributed directly to families of refugees. The State provides single payments in cash directly to refugees and host families.

The government has also created a database of Moldovan products and services needed to support refugees, and directly contracts these enterprises, including social enterprises.

Type of additional support needed:

Eco-Razeni members met with government officials and called for a postponement of the payment of VAT and income tax, partial compensation for the costs of energy resources and certain raw materials that were imported from Ukraine (no longer available due to the war).

Slovakia

Actions led by ENSIE's member, ASSE and its members: 

ASSE activity focused on a media promotion to present the possibilities of integrating Ukrainians in Slovakia into social enterprises. You can find attached an article in which, Ivan Mako,  WASCO chairman and ASSE President  explains that social enterprises such as WASCO are hiring Ukrainian refugees and that social enterprises can employ up to 2500 Ukrainians in Slovakia. WASCO can employ up to 10 refugees, propose them one hour/day to language teaching. WASCO also has a community center that can help with healthcare information, placement of children in kindergartens and schools. He called to widespread the information to refugees, so they know there are some opportunities in social enterprises. Indeed, it is in the interest for Social enterprises and for Ukrainians to quickly be employed, this way they can learn the language and they can feel welcome in the country.

Social enterprises in Slovakia want to prepare an information campaign for Ukrainian citizens on employment opportunities in social enterprises and the benefits to employ Ukrainian citizens.

Support from public authorities

In general Ukrainians refugees arriving in Slovakia are given resident status (they are entitled to free healthcare, children can go to school and kindergartens), they can enter the labour market without further permission. Everyone should look for a job themselves and the employers don’t need more paperwork, however, the new job must be notified by the employer within seven days to the employment office. A Ukrainian citizen - refugee is entitled to a material benefit emergency - the adult receives 68.80 euros per month from the employment office, if has one or at most four children - 130.90 euros.

In Slovakia, there are gaps in the establishment and operation of systematic steps in prompt assistance and subsequent assistance for integration and adaptation. Multiple shortcomings of the crisis management authorities are covered by volunteers, NGOs, entrepreneurs and social enterprises. Ministry of Labour declared the support to the Social Economy as a priority but there is very little communication and cooperation with the Ministry.

Poland

Actions led by ENSIE's member, SWR and its members

ASES Foundation (Atelier of Cooperatives and Social Economy Foundation) has provided accommodation  for 4 Ukrainian families, a total of 19 people providing them with comprehensive social, psychological, health and legal assistance as well as translations of documents. The Foundation helped 9 people find a job, including 3 of them in WISES. The families can stay in the foundation's apartments for 2 months at no cost.

The Association Kurka Wodna has co-created a warehouse for refugees with food, clothing and hygiene products operating since the beginning of March. Employees of the association sort the clothes received from donors and complete ready-made packages for refugees. A warehouse operated by volunteers, open daily in March, currently 3 times a week. They issue packages serving from 400 to 600 people a day.

Moreover several dozen of Ukrainian refugees has already found job in the WISES of the region.

 

Support from public authorities

In accordance with the Art. 29 of the Act of March 12, 2022 on assistance to Ukrainian war refugees in connection with an armed conflict in the territory of Ukraine a citizen of Ukraine residing on the territory of the Republic of Poland, whose stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland is considered legal on the basis of art. 2 and which has been entered in the citizen register may receive pecuniary and non-pecuniary   benefits on the terms and in the mode of the act on social assistance.

First, citizens of Ukraine receive humanitarian aid. Such assistance in the form of accommodation, full board, care medical services is provided by the local administration with huge support of NGOs.

The new regulations allow free access to the Polish labor market for Ukrainian war refugees, whose stay has been recognized as legal, as well as access to active labor market instruments forms of assistance and referral to employment through labor offices and Social Economy Support Centres (OWES).  Ukrainian war refugees will also acquire the right to family benefits and benefits educational, family caring capital ( approx. 100 euro for child) and a good start.

Taking into account that the citizens of Ukraine may be, among others  unemployed persons the Act on social cooperatives does not limit the application of its provisions to Polish citizens, this act in force already allow for establishment social cooperatives by Ukrainian citizens who meet the conditions set out in the special act. This also applies to their employment by social cooperatives.

The Ukrainian refugees with disabilities can  participate in Occupational therapy workshops,  work in Establishments of professional activity.  Persons with disabilities from Ukraine will be able to be employed in sheltered employment establishment if they have a document confirming a disability under the provisions of the Act on rehabilitation.

Currently the State Fund for the Rehabilitation of Persons with disabilities adopted the program "Helping Ukrainian citizens with disabilities".The aim of the program is to provide assistance to disabled refugees who have come to Poland in connection with Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

 

Type of additional support needed:

A characteristic of this group of migrants is that they are mainly women with children. SWR observes a very high interest in searching for a job. However within the framework of the available EU funds it will only be possible for procedural reasons to launch these funds next year. Therefore they ask the European Commission to support effectively Social Economy Support Centres ( OWES)  in finding employment for Ukrainian refugees,  by allowing OWES to directly finance job creation for Ukrainian target group in the area of the social economy. For instance the Social Economy support Centre - OWES SWR has created approx. 300 jobs in the last 3 years in social enterprises . They also cooperate with several  other centres OWES. Based on the knowledge of the Polish support system for social enterprises, they are convinced that each of the approx. 40 OWES centres existing in Poland could create 50-500 jobs for war refugees from Ukraine. However the condition for OWES quick support is to obtain funds directly from Brussels.  In this case, they estimate the cost of creating one job at EUR 2,000-10,000 depending on the type of employment. Otherwise, if the funds went  through the Polish administration at the central and local level, the whole process would be delayed by at least a year.

Hungary

Actions led by ENSIE's member, Galileo Progetti and its members

At the beginning of the crisis, the Hungarian government allowed the entry into Hungary to everyone who can demonstrate that they lived in Ukraine, no matter the nationality or the passport. The first wave was constituted mostly by Ukrainian women, often with young children, as men were to stay in Ukraine as soldiers. Another big group was constituted by foreign students and fresh graduates from Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa) and India, who were students in Ukrainian universities and had to leave. Part of them decided to remain in Hungary, as the governments and universities accepted them as students (even if normally they couldn’t be accepted without exams and without a special visa for their citizenship). Part of them went back to their original country and other emigrated to other countries (mostly Germany).

In this first period, Galileo established direct contact with its Ukrainian partners, based in Budapest or in Ukraine. Galileo offered support for people in transit to rest for a night and sleep in the office. They bought several sleeping bags, and provided them to refugees on the border trough local associations (Budapest Bike Maffia and Migration Aid) which organized special missions, in support of the local municipalities to provide first accommodation for refugees. Galileo staff supported logistics for people in transit in Budapest during their travel to other countries. Galileo’s members made their holiday house available for refugees, a group of African young people before and actually a Ukrainian family with 3 small children. Galileo also shared information about work opportunities, possibility to volunteer, research of means of transportation etc. via social media. Indeed as there are civil organizations very active, and it’s important to share the information. Several refugees already founded a work in Hungary, both people without qualification (Hungarian work market is in need of workers), and qualified people as IT, language teachers. There’s a sad exception, regarding Hungarian minority living in Ukraine (around 180.000 persons), mostly Roma, with double citizenship, which are hardly discriminated. 

Support from public authorities

Currently, the government is looking to accelerate the procedure to recognize Ukrainian degrees, especially in the health sector, as this could be useful for the country, considering the lack of health care workers.

Several multinational companies already started campaign to enroll Ukrainian workers.

Latvia

Actions led by ENSIE's member, SEAL and its members

SEAL, as an organisation collected 82,985.70 EUR from individuals and companies.

Among their members:

  •  Latvijas Samariešu apvienība "SenRiga" hosted 35 refugees from Ukraine, seven of them are in wheelchair, five with vision impairment, and eight are children.
  • 9741 package have been filled with which helped more than 29 thousand people (both Ukrainian families and locals) in cooperation with Rimi Latvija and the Food Bank Paēdušai Latvijai
  • With the help of the Ukrainian Samaritans, they have found a delivery channel to the military region of Kiev, and have sent the first load of humanitarian aid - 29 pallets of food, medical and hygiene products, clothing and other useful things.
  • SOS bērnu ciemati Latvijā is partnering with other NGOs that are providing assistance to their website to protect children from the horrors of war: https://bit.ly/3Il5E9P .
  • To increase peace in the world, Centrs cilvēka izaugsmei Torņakalns every morning at. 8:00 am invites you to join us for a silent meditation online on Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/2731799394 .
  • The Entrepreneurs initiative movement “Entrepreneurs for peace” intends to collect five million euros in support of Ukraine. The social company Svaigi.lv has also contributed financially.
  • The social company Dabas Zirgi has expressed its readiness to welcome both horses and people if necessary to help stables bombed in Ukraine.
  • Social company SWIMBE : 5% of its income in March will be donated to support Ukraine. Buy any kind of product here: www.swimbe.lv !
  • Call Centre Sonido in cooperation with Sabiedrības integrācijas fonds provides war refugees from Ukraine centralized information on available assistance and support in Latvia, for example, how to receive employment, psychological assistance, legal support, translator, social care, social support etc. services. As of March 23rd, they received over 10 000 phone calls.
  • Free Riga organized a workshop on making camouflage nets. Those nets are needed to hide cars and people to safely evacuate people and deliver humanitarian aid.
  • Vigo Health Latvija in collaboration with Gribu palīdzēt bēgļiem were involved in preparing and dispatching goods for refugees. In addition, they gave their entire team a free day to work, which each choice to volunteer for Ukraine or for their mental health.
  • Otrā Elpa collected donations to be sent to the volunteers men involved in the war. They collect warm clothes, bedding, hygiene products, paracetamol, fast food etc
  • Cerību spārni in cooperation with the Sigulda County Municipality, involved and invited residents to donate essential necessities and medical supplies as well as food items to the aid team organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Organisation of webinars for people negatively affected by what is happening right now, Andra Strautina ( AD ASTRA Coaching ) organizes free webinar on well-being: https://esvaru.lv/praktiskas-nodarbibas/

Support from public authorities

Following a recommendation from the Latvian Association of Social Entrepreneurship, Ukrainian civilians, under the understanding of the Social Enterprise law, are defined as a group of citizens at risk of social exclusion. Therefore, they are now a target group for social enterprises and WISEs. More info here.

There also have been possibilities for NGOs to apply for extra funding for activities to help Ukrainians. Overall, public authorities approve and help the initiatives. 

Type of additional support needed:

Systemic help - creating more and better systems that can help in the long term together with NGOs that are working on the ground.

Lithuania

Actions led by ENSIE's member, LiSVA and its members

LiSVA stands in solidarity with social entrepreneurs from Ukraine and offers its help - advice, information, and contacts.

LISVA’s Members are doing different activities such as :

  • Taking care of families, collect humanitarian aid, organize a hackathon to create specific solutions (to facilitate information management), help urgently in joint ventures through the EYE program.
  • Supporting incoming Ukrainian pregnant women by giving them "Maternity Baskets" - hygiene and cleanliness kits for the woman and the newborn needed at the maternity home.
  • Temporarily housed refugees from Ukraine at personal home
  • Accommodated two families (a mother with two children and a young girl) in their institution, and looking to accommodate two more single people.

Support from public authorities

Overall, there is no support. It is a volunteer action of solidarity and civil activism regardless support from authority support. If there will be additional support from the local authorities, actions could reach bigger impact. Some of them applied for support but no information yet.

Type of additional support needed:

Need for financial support to involve more support as well as publicity.

Czech Republic

Actions led by ENSIE's member, TESSEA and its members

Czech Republic social enterprises are active in catering, they are preparing food for Ukrainians refugees. Here are a few more examples :

  • Modrý domeček z Řevnic, near Praga is hosting 25 Ukrainian families.
  • Toulcově dvoře in Praga is preparing to host and feed some Ukrainians, they are organising a collect on  Facebook. They’ve sent mats, sleeping bags, thermal underwear, war shoes to Ukraine. 
  • Fokus Vysočina collected in its volunteer centre in Humpolec food, blankets and medicines. They are helping the city of Vysočina to find volunteers (Ukrainians and Russian interpreters). The city of Humpolec is organising hosting in a close by monastery in Želiv and in local hotels.
  • Social enterprise Bistro Čistá duše FOVY sro prepares every day free meals for refugees.  They furnish foodbanks with food and hygiene products.
  • Social enterprise FOVY offered 7 jobs to Ukrainian women in Havlíčkův Brod and Chotěboř : cleaning, sewing and assembling.
  • In Moravia,  Valašská Diakonická  cooperated with the city of Valašské Meziříčí, to host 60 refugees. And provided clothes to Ukrainian child through the social enterprise  Pralinky s příběh.

Support from public authorities

Very little support of public authorities and nothing specific for social enterprises, MoLSA is not preparing anything specific targeting the current situation. However, there is some financial support available at the moment in the Czech Republic, even though there is no more public authorities support to organisations that take care of migrants:

  • Ministry of interior gives money to migrant organisations for integration
  • MoLSA gives out for establishing child groups
  • there is Visegrad fund: https://www.visegradfund.org/news/visegrad-4-ukraine/
  • some foundations (corporate or non-profit) provide quick money for child/youth programmes and other support

Type of additional support needed:

TESSEA is calling for :  

  • fund for translators into/from Ukrainian - Czech Republic is the 2nd most affected after Poland in terms of the ratio of migrants per inhabitant
  • fund for psycho-social support - therapists and social workers are badly needed, especially those with the expertise on post-war trauma
  • specific support of social enterprises for creating jobs for Ukrainians
  • support for educational programmes for Ukrainians
  • generally more means for the migrant organisation that provide long term complex support and are good at intercultural work (the best prevention of racism and hatred which we already can observe in our country :-(
  • in general our government (right-centrist) is rather "mean" and leaves many things on people, volunteer and NGO help
  • TESSEA has, however, recommended to include Ukrainians as target group for the ESF+ calls for proposals that are being prepared for the autumn this year. 

Austria

Actions led by ENSIE's members and their members

ABZ*AUSTRIA is currently conducting BBE #ukr.workinaustria and fast track – they serve as support in entering the Austrian labor market and assist with information on integration (housing, childcare, school, learning the German language,...).

Support from public authorities

These actions are supportet by AMS and WAFF. In order to render the support more effective we’d need good coordination between stakeholders, clear mandates, avoid redundancy, clear responsibilities,... from public authorities.

France

Actions led by ENSIE's members and their members

The fédération des enterprises d’insertion,at first, surveyed their members to see if they had the capacity to provide jobs for Ukrainian refugees. The answers showed a strong mobilisation and WISEs offered up to 10 000 jobs in WISEs for Ukrainians refugees. They concerted afterwards with the other actors to find solution concerning operational implementation of job accessibility. The Government launched launched a dispositive of temporary protection for Ukrainian’s roperational implementation of job accessibility, which simplifies the procedure. 

Coorace also declared that its members will help refugees to find a job in their structures, even for short time periods.

Support from public authorities

The government launched a dispositive of temporary protection for Ukrainian’s refugee so they can enter more quickly on the labour market.

There is a strong mobilisation from authorities on this topic to find solutions about technical points. The actions led by la fédération des enterprises d'insertion are supported, at least morally, by public authorities. 

Type of additional support needed:

It will be necessary to find a solution concernin the traiing for funding and the question of the language. 

Belgium

Actions led by ENSIE's members and their members

Lot of initiatives by HERWIN’s members, with the support from municipalities:

Furthermore, they all collect donations of materials.

Support from public authorities

All the activities have been done with the support of the municipalities.

Greece

Actions led by ENSIE's member, Klimax Plus and its members

Organised a humanitarian mission at the Romanian-Ukrainian borders to provide telepsychiatry services to the affected population in Ukraine and the neighbouring countries. The telepsychiatry service provides psychiatric and psychosocial services, on a 24 hour basis, by experienced psychiatrists and mental health professionals, in the following languages: Ukrainian, Russian, Belarusian, Romanian, Polish, English, French, Italian, Arabic, Farsi. More information about it here and here

Italy

Actions led by ENSIE's members and their members

Idee in Rete joined the campaign #abbraccioperlapace to ensure dialogue between Ukrainian and Russian communities and avoid the development of hate between communities. They organise dialogues and meetings between Ukrainians and Russians in collaboration with other organisations.

Idee in Rete promoted the #stopthewar caravan Stop the war now - Nonviolent Peace Action in Ukraine.

As a formal network of social cooperatives belonging to Confcooperative Federsolidarietà, at the level of governmental interlocutors, Idee in Rete is participating in the organisation and planning committees for the reception of Ukrainian refugees. In this operational context, Idee in Rete social co-operatives are reorganising their structures to favour the reception of migrants and are participating at a local level in the infrastructure of a widespread reception system. In particular, the organisations of our Universal Civil Service network, where possible, are reorganising their ordinary activities, where volunteer workers are currently engaged, in order to provide relief and assistance to the Ukrainian population, in full implementation of the principle of solidarity.

Support from public authorities

Currently, the public authorities are focusing on welcoming migrants. However, according to Idee in Rete, they are repeating errors of approach that have already occurred in the management of past crisis. For example, the Italian government is paying hotels to house Ukrainian refugees, even though their cost per person is almost three times higher than in third sector organisations. And they don’t take into account the fact that these organisations, in contrast to hotels, are also responsible for taking care of people and not only for providing food and accommodation.

Type of additional support needed:

The support of public authorities is necessary to make the reception of Ukrainian refugees more effective. It should consist in legislative, economic and financial planning that looks beyond the emergency of the moment. These policies should focus on the social inclusion of migrants, to encourage processes and itineraries and active citizenship. An inclusion policy concretely oriented in this sense and is not only a public declaration would participate to the reduction the phenomena of xenophobia, intolerance and social exclusion that, once the emotional wave of the moment has passed, will come back to powerfully appear.

Ensie

 

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.