2,800 refugee children from Ukraine received support and protection as part of the campaign “Help me to help you!”

Chisinau City Hall and the General Directorate for the Protection of Children’s Rights of the Chisinau Municipal Council presented, at a public event held at the “Patria Lukoil” Municipal Refugee Temporary Placement Center, the results of the “Help me to help you!” campaign, which was carried out between May 30 and August 29 of the current year within the “Data for Impact” (D4I) project, implemented by Palladium International, with the financial support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the support of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

This broad campaign succeeded in identifying and monitoring more than 2,800 refugee children from Ukraine and accompanying adults in transit or those who decided to stay in the Municipality of Chisinau, in order to learn about the problems they face and take concrete measures to promptly solve them. In the same way, during the campaign, more than 4000 people from the refugee community were informed about the specialized services provided by the municipal institutions.

“As the vast majority of refugee children from Ukraine remained in the Municipality of Chisinau, this campaign was welcomed because it allowed us to have the most accurate record and documentation of the needs they face as well as to prevent many situations of imminent risk for children. We provided support and protection to children at risk, in order to prevent any form of abuse, violence and neglect, monitoring each individual case separately. It is encouraging that almost 80% of the mapped children have benefited from the services of community centers for children and youth, day camps, youth centers, day services, rehabilitation services and other services offered by our institutions“, mentioned the Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Chisinau in the social and education field, Angela CUTASEVICI.

During the campaign, around 60 employees of municipal institutions (social workers, teachers, psychologists), who worked in all districts of the city of Chisinau, identified the specific needs of 2827 refugee children. 242 children were identified as being at risk, 12 of which were left without parental protection. In particular, the children at risk were those unaccompanied by authorized persons and in imminent danger, and their situation has been resolved through the intervention of the General Directorate for the Protection of Children’s Rights with the assistance of the representatives from the territorial and local guardianship authorities.

“Our contribution to this campaign consisted, first of all, in the application of a complex methodology of mapping the needs, starting with the design of the data collection form, a training organized together with UNHCR to train the specialists who interviewed the refugees, the analysis of the data and ending with further examination of the results together with key actors in order to support them in undertaking concrete measures and actions for the benefit of the refugees. Second, we implemented the “Help me to help you!” campaign to communicate and inform the refugee community about the specialized services provided by municipal institutions,” said the USAID Data for Impact (D4I) Chief of Party, Palladium International, Camelia GHEORGHE.

The mapping process had also identified that the priority needs of refugee children were food, clothing and footwear. Similarly, at the time of mapping, 1 out of 3 children were registered with the family doctor and 2 out of 5 children were enrolled in some form of schooling during their stay in the city of Chisinau. To better respond to the needs of refugee children, relevant municipal departments were mobilized, the campaign resulting in the increased access to medical and educational services.

“We received help in enrolling our children in school, my wife and daughter were also employed. I am grateful to the teachers because my children also started reading. I have 3 children who study at “Vasile Lupu” lyceum and thanks to the teachers’ support they are studying much better. I appeal to the Roma community to take an example from my family and do everything that is possible so that their children are also educated and schooled, which will make their life easier”, confirmed Nicolai, Ukrainian refugee of Roma ethnicity, father of 3 children.

During the implementation of the campaign, the number of food and hygiene kits distributed to families doubled, the number of children beneficiaries of medical assistance increased by 120%, and that of youth beneficiaries of the programs of the Chisinau Municipal Youth Center increased by 4 times.

“I arrived here pregnant, in the 8th month of pregnancy. They received us at the center, gave us a room, then I was registered at the hospital. I gave birth at the Maternity No. 1, they offered us all the necessary medical help. We are very satisfied. We were also provided with a bathtub, a crib, a stroller, food and diapers for the newborn baby. Our older children were provided with a computer for their studies. We are very grateful!” said Taisia, Ukrainian refugee, mother of 3 children.

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The campaign “Help me to help you!” was carried out by the Chisinau City Hall and the General Directorate for the Protection of Children’s Rights of the Chisinau Municipal Council within the “Data for Impact” (D4I) project, implemented by Palladium International, with the financial support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the support UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).