For Tech Friends looking setup a CEE Refugee Camp for Ukrainians
Below please find steps how to setup organize and manage a refugee camp to help Ukrainians:
We want to create a place that offers a comprehensive soft landing. For those who need it, it is to give a respite so that they can continue to go to their goal. For others, a place where they can think about the next steps and then try to activate them in the last phase, etc.
Step 1 (react & secure)
You have to hit a network of CEE people from the hotel industry to get offers. You want to know the rate per day per person with full board and service (bed linen etc). You need to have have boots on the ground to confirm the local hotel. The hotel operator must understand that he will be receiving refugees. It is very IMPORTANT, because a refugee will not be an ordinary hotel guest for 2 months. You have to negotiate bulk preferential rates. You need to find a coordinator who can communicate in Polish/Slovak/Hungarian/Romanian and Ukrianian Russian (she can get along with the Ukrainians). It is best to have 2 coordinators at minimum.
Next form a Whatsapp group to coordinate the entire action in Ukraine and two smaller groups to coordinate hotels and placement of people in rooms.
You need to find US finance people will commit to finance the operations out of their own pocket, we have given green lights for expenses and advances (although the hoteliers did not want them at all “right away”) and to the shopping coordinators. They can act openly and make their own decisions.
A coordination point has been created next to the hotels, where the coordinators will be sitting. They must have computers and printers. Cars with basic necessities (hygiene, cosmetics, medicines) arrive there. They will be repackaged into smaller packages and distributed as needed. Lest there be a situation where the first group of a dozen or so people will take everything (they are not surprised, the rest). It has to be mastered. Take a look at this excel file with basics (Polish, Ukrainian, Russian): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NXqrSE4EOvrdqGFzTW-8zU-bjN-vjeH_Xr7KP-8X1Uw/edit?fbclid=IwAR3G2A9yrfl43o333CAiRpOA1PdIjIrXeLXVYqa1PdIjIrXeLXvYqa1PdIjIrXeLXvYq1PdIjIrXeLXvYq. The purchases will be made through the coordination point. File sharing is available to everyone. In addition, bilingual information boards with important information, contact telephone numbers etc. are prepared in the hotels. Information that everything is for FREE (unfortunately there is a lot of exploitation at the border and in transport, people are afraid).
Coordinators are already collecting phone calls and one hotel (about 50 people) is almost fully booked. The second one for about 70 people is being prepared and will be active from tomorrow. We provide information and guides to hoteliers and coordinators on how to behave. That someone who is helped is not necessarily happy, not necessarily thankful. He’s in shock sometimes. We will work on it in Step 2 (stabilize).
Key problem: these people can’t just sit and look at the wall for 2 months! The focal point begins to talk to the needy about what they need. We supply clothes, cosmetics and toys. Maybe projectors will be needed so that they can watch movies together, etc.
Important: We expect a lot of women with children, we supply toys. One of the councilors has already taken action to organize some classes. Psychological help. You will need to have documents, forms in the cloud prepared by a good local lawyer.
Step 3 (thrive)
So far we have general ideas, but it’s too early to pay attention to it. Further legal assistance and an attempt at professional activation will appear here. You need create such a 2-language manual for both the person looking for a job and the employer. What can you do? How to Prepare? It will probably be very hard intitialy.
Key Take Aways:
Boots on the ground. Without people on the spot and coordination via Whatsapp, the whole action would not take place.
The proactive involvement of hotel owners is also absolutely critical. It will not work with guests who only rent rooms.