As an organisation that builds homes, communities and hope, Habitat for Humanity is calling for an end to the violence that threatens all three.
Habitat for Humanity has been supporting the shelter needs of families across Central and Eastern Europe since 1992.
Europe is now facing the largest humanitarian crisis of a lifetime as the conflict in Ukraine has led to a surge of refugees fleeing to safety in neighbouring countries.
The UNHCR estimates that more than 3.9 million people have fled Ukraine and these numbers are expected to accelerate in the coming days and weeks, creating an unprecedented need for emergency and long-term shelter.
Habitat for Humanity is local, and has the experience to respond to these urgent needs.
From the beginning, Habitat teams have been working with first responders at the borders, coordinating with partners, directly supporting Ukrainian refugees. Hear the story of Marina and her family, who were forced to flee Ukraine, and how Habitat has supported them here.
We will continue praying for peace and an end to the conflict so that families can stay in the places they call home.
Hear directly from our colleagues across Europe in the videos below, and learn about Habitat’s response to the crisis.
Habitat Poland: Iru Serra- Lasa
Habitat Romania: Roberto Patrasciou
Habitat Poland: Maciej Kosiorek
Habitat is working to alleviate the shelter burden of Ukrainian refugees.
Supporting refugees on the move
- Habitat is delivering, in partnership with hotels and estate agencies, transport and immediate access to a safe place to stay.
- Habitat’s immediate response includes providing heating or beds in border camps and basic kits/care packages to those fleeing Ukraine, based on need in host countries.
- Habitat is working to ensure safe places for families to stay for at least 6 months in Hungary, Poland and Romania.
- For example, Habitat for Humanity Poland is at the main train station managing a Solidarity accommodation service, in partnership with Warsaw City government; matching refugee families with 4000 home stays offered by the public.
- Habitat ReStore in Poland is also supporting families with key housing related items.
Longer term shelter needs
- With a strong history across the region, Habitat will work to support the longer-term housing needs for Ukrainian refugees who settle in host communities across the region using our ‘Pathways to Permanence’ methodology.
- Interventions will build on the strengths of current programmes, including an Empty Spaces initiative which provide long-term housing in disused apartments or attics. This will need significant support and partnerships to deliver impact across Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
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Fundraise for Ukraine
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Marina and her children were forced to leave their homes behind, fleeing the violence in Ukraine.
We appreciate the compassion which motivates the enquiries we have had about donating items to send to Ukraine, or bordering countries. Our experience shows that logistics and distribution can add to the burden of affected communities in disaster response. Organisations on the ground are best placed to understand the immediate needs and deliver them to the right places.
Instead, Habitat has launched this appeal to support those being forced to flee their homes. Sending funds will enable our colleagues in Romania, Poland, Slovakia or Hungary, alongside partners to coordinate the response, source items locally and distribute them to those most in need.