In April and July, ARCA launched a survey in which it asked questions to discover the vision and experience of humanitarian migrants regarding accessing essential services in Romania. The questions were designed to find out more about the need of people fleeing Ukraine for food, shelter, health services, acquiring language skills, accessing education and finding a job.
People mentioned initially that the coordination between authorities and grassroots organizations ensured access to basic necessities, such as food, clothing, hygiene essentials, and no issues were reported in this regard in April.
The emergency government ordinance 15/2022 implementing such humanitarian assistance measures was amended in May 2022. Its housing programme created to sustain a large number of humanitarian migrants suffered changes that are still undergoing implementation issues, as the monthly payments for housing and food expenses were not granted, thus creating imbalance and uncertainty for people in need of such supportive integration measures. This issue is awaiting resolution.
While some people reported the need to move and find another place to live or even to return to the host country or move to another country, other people reported that mutual understanding and kindness were the foundation of their good relationship with the flat owners.
In the picture below, it can be seen how in April people fleeing Ukraine reported accessing healthcare services:
When asked how they communicated with the doctor, 30.8% reported that they were helped by a translator, 26.3% used Google translator or similar online translation apps, 20.2% were speaking English or Romanian, 12.6% reported that the doctor was speaking Russian/Ukrainian. The remaining percentage of people did not need a doctor.
In July, 31.7% of respondents mentioned that there is at least one member within their family with a disability, while 68.3% reported no disabilities. Out of the 31.7%, 11% are being offered social support, 21.7% remaining without assistance.
In our July needs assessment, the most commonly identified language needs were related to employment (e.g., workplace communication, job interviews) and everyday interactions (e.g., shopping, public transportation). They also expressed the need for language support in healthcare settings, including doctor visits and medical terminology comprehension.
When asked what their plans for the future are, some of them answered that they need English and Romanian for both short-and long-term stay in the host country.
In April, one participant in our focus group discussions outlined that adaptation to Romanian government requirements is necessary to benefit from facilities. However, proximity to Ukraine makes it more difficult to assume the integration process fully, consequently, to enroll children in the Romanian public educational system. If they had been located further away from their home country, they would have adapted faster to the new society.
Also in April, our needs assessment concluded that 43,7% of respondents had their children enrolled in online Ukrainian schools, while 22,7% answered that their children are enrolled in Ukrainian educational hubs in Romania. 10,9% reported having their children included in the Romanian public educational system.
In July, we addressed similar questions related to education:
When asked about how many children there were in the family, 35,4% answered that they have 2 children. 32,9% have one child, followed by 14,6% with no children, and 9,8% with 3 children. While 2 respondents have 5 or more children, and 1 has 4.
On enrollment, 48,8% answered that they did not enroll their children in school/kindergarten, but they are searching for one. 25,6% have their children enrolled in school for less than 4 hours per day. While 23,2% have their children going to school or kindergarten between 4 and 8 hours daily. 2,4% don’t have children.
Out of the 48,8% above, 31,7% mentioned that they need support with identifying a school or kindergarten. 17% do not need such support.
An average of 62,2% of people from our 2 assessments conducted in July are currently unemployed in Romania, while 16,8% are working part-time and 14,2% have a full-time job. The following roles were mentioned: teacher, interior designer, business manager, lawyer, realtor, machine operator, cleaning personnel, psychologist, IT, engineer, massage therapist.
Among reasons for impossibility to currently work, our respondents mentioned:
85.2% of respondents have at least one child in their care.
The language support initiatives should prioritize developing tailored language programs that address the specific needs identified by migrants, implicitly a focus to be put on designing language courses that incorporate vocabulary and scenarios relevant to employment, healthcare, and daily life interactions.
Efforts should be made to enhance the accessibility of language learning resources, including online materials.
Flexible language learning options, such as morning, evening or weekend classes, both online and offline can accommodate the diverse schedules of migrants.
Additional support, such as language buddies or peer tutoring, can be established to provide opportunities for practice and enhance confidence in speaking.
Based on the findings of the report, it can be concluded that employment support, as well as support with identifying a school/kindergarten would be needed, especially during August and September, when the housing programme will impose employment as a prerequisite for receiving financial assistance for housing.
With regards to any further financial assistance, it can be highlighted that the most vulnerable categories of people in need of such support will be mothers with young children in care and not able to work, as well as older people and people with disabilities.
The current article is part of a series of communication materials with the overall objective to increase awareness around migration-related issues through #constructive narratives.
The project #UkraineNow is co-financed by the European Union through Erasmus+. The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the content, which reflects only the views of the authors. The Commission cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.