March 18th, 2024

Not forgotten: Ukrainian refugee support in Romania

As of January 2024, there are 78,400 Ukrainian refugees in Romania. The overall population of refugees from Ukraine in Romania has decreased from 85,000 individuals in December 2023 (Ref: UN High Commissioner for Refugees). UNHCR have observed that some of the most vulnerable refugees left Romania, both to Ukraine and to other European countries, as they cannot continue sustaining rent and other expenses without financial support.

Two boys who hope to attend the school in Romania soon.

International Needs Romania has continued to provide this much-needed support, as families are still struggling with the consequences of war. When the outbreak of war began, the initial aim of IN was to provide food, shelter, transport, and basic medical care. By the end of 2022, the focus shifted towards rehabilitation: helping Ukrainians to settle in their host communities and begin supporting themselves.

Ukrainian refugee girl who will attend the temporary school in Sighisoara

International Needs UK has been running a kindergarten in Danes, Romania, for children aged 0-5 years. The kindergarten has provided a safe space in which (often traumatised) children could play, find a sense of normality, and begin to learn, grow, and develop.

Children in the temporary school.

Due to unforeseen needs that affected the refugee community in Romania, a new adapted programme had to be made which includes both a kindergarten and primary school for children aged 0 – 11 years.

The goal is to provide education and day care for 43 children of Ukrainian refugees. It will run across two sites – a Kindergarten in the village of Danes and a school in the town of Sighisoara, a few kilometres away.

The kindergarten has brought children and their parents together. It has provided positive activities and a space for both adults and children to build relationships.

Families have been placed in suitable accommodation. A voucher system has been created, which enables refugees to buy food from a social shop and clothes from a second-hand store. Weekly meet-ups have been organised to strengthen bonds in small groups.

Some examples of how we provide support to children and families:

  • Meals and snacks are provided to children from the Kindergarten and Day Care Centre
  • Help with homework
  • Additional classes in Romanian and English
  • Lessons with a speech therapist
  • Themed days (drawing, general development clubs)
  • Consultations with a psychologist and emotional support
  • Preschool lessons for kindergarten children
  • Media literacy

Learning and help with homework.

Romanian and English lessons.

Teaching media literacy.

Festive family days as part of helping with integration.

There are so many incredible stories of rehabilitation, love and transformation from our programme in Romania. Here is one true story…

Meet Sofia

Sofia* is a single Ukrainian woman who came to Romania to find refuge for her children. She got married when she was very young and was blessed with seven children.

From the outside it seemed like they were a happy family, but Sofia had been suffering in silence for a long time. Her husband mistreated her and neglected their children. All the weight of responsibility fell on Sofia’s shoulders, who tried her best to take care of all seven children, to maintain the house and everything related to the household.

Sofia was then abandoned by her husband completely. She found herself in a tough situation: she did not work, did not have any money set aside, and was not able to raise her children without an income. On top of this, the outbreak of the Ukraine war put their lives in danger and they had nowhere to go to find shelter in their country.

Without money, food or sufficient clothes, and having nothing left to lose, Sofia fled with her children to Romania. They arrived in Arad where Sofia and her precious children have found a safe place to live, receive food, clothes and other necessary things. Sofia is SO grateful for those that have supported her family, and she gives thanks to God for your care.

*Name changed to protect identity