UNICEF launches six Spilno Hubs in five months to support Ukrainian refugees and integration of local communities
- Available in:
Warsaw, 22 March 2023 – The UNICEF Refugee Response Office in Poland has launched its sixth ‘Spilno Hub’ to support refugees who’ve fled war in Ukraine as well as local communities. Spilno Hubs are run in partnership with municipalities and local civil society organizations and in the last five months have been opened in Łódź, in late October, and since then in Lublin, Białystok, Poznań, Katowice - and yesterday in Gdynia.
As the war in Ukraine continues, refugee families need more sustainable support within the communities they are living in. The concept of "Spilno" - which means "together" or “jointly” in Ukrainian - is to provide comprehensive and longer term support on integration, mental health, legal assistance, protection and educational and social activities to the most vulnerable refugee children and families who have fled war in Ukraine. They also provide a safe space to connect with the local community.
“When I came to Poland shortly after the escalation of the war in Ukraine, I saw how many children and families needed help with immediate needs such as accommodation, food and health supplies. I also saw how, in solidarity, Polish people opened their hearts and homes to guests from Ukraine,” said Rashed Mustafa, Country Coordinator, UNICEF Refugee Response Office in Poland. “These needs are still ongoing, but providing longer term support is now just as important. Spilno Hubs do exactly this in a place where children and parents from Ukraine recover from the adverse experience and find professional support to build their lives in Poland regardless of the duration of their stay.”
Each Spilno Hub is adapted to local needs but also provides a core package of services aimed at the integration of refugees. They offer comprehensive information and assistance on accessing public services, psychosocial support to children and caregivers, legal assistance, Polish and English language lessons, recreational activities, skills development, activities for young children and adolescent engagement.
“The broad range of services offered at Spilno Hubs are not just for children and their families who’ve fled war in Ukraine but for all those who need our support in local communities,” said Mustafa. “The youngest in all communities can learn, play and make new friends, which is what children like and need the most – because a child is a child, no matter what.”
Spilno Hubs in Poland are inspired in part by Spilno Child Spots operated by UNICEF inside Ukraine, one stop shop humanitarian hubs aimed at supporting children affected by war through activities, supplies and access to services.
The UNICEF Refugee Response Office in Poland, which was set up in March 2022, has been working to support children and their families who have fled the war in Ukraine. We work with national and municipal government as well as civil society partners to keep children learning, healthy and safe.
More information: www.unicef.org/eca/poland and our Spilno website which has latest information in Ukrainian for families seeking refuge in Poland: https://spilnoinpl.org/
This work to support refugee children and families in Poland has been made possible with contributions from public and private donors from around the world
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit https://www.unicef.org/eca/.