Romania has facilitated the transit of about 500,000 refugees to other countries and has taken in about 90,000 refugees indefinitely.
In an article, the RAJA Group's subsidiary Viking Romania looks back at the solidarity of Romanians with Ukrainians.
The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has created an intense need for humanitarian aid and supplies in neighbouring countries. Romania has facilitated the transit to other countries for approximately 500 000 refugees. As of March 21st, around 90.000 of them have decided to stay in Romania indefinitely, 30.000 of which are children. The ones that stay are either hoping they can go back home soon, and therefore search for transit accommodation and help next to the Romanian borders or are trying to find some sense of normalcy and therefore are looking for accommodation and jobs in any city that would adopt them.
Romanians have opened their businesses, their schools, and their homes to their Ukrainian neighbours, in order to ease the transition from refugees to regular citizens. There are hotels, gyms, churches, even clubs that have been converted into temporary accommodation venues, all done with the help of local population. Support actions have been organized since the outburst of the war: orientation/first aid centres at the border, transportation networks, food networks, and shelters. This synchronized effort is meant to offer customized assistance to all in need. As soon as they cross the border, families and their pets are picked up by volunteers and guided to the nearest triage centres. Their journeys continue depending on their final destination; they are accompanied step by step by volunteers and authorities. Free transportation is being offered and main train stations across the country have turned into care-giving platforms that make this process run smoother. Governmental measures, such as reduced paper work requirements for accessing the country, and even for working in Romania, ease this process further.
Peace vigils are held, psychological assistance and entertainment/education hubs for children are facilitated.
Every day, the complexity of measures and actions to support are increasing. Today, you can find workshops for legal assistance, professional orientation trainings, dedicated job fairs and even language development courses specifically designed for refugees. What has remained constant, thankfully, is the desire of both individuals and organizations to increase their efforts to help as much as possible. The situation is incredibly atrocious and in all this we see incredible kindness: yesterday, just by scrolling social media, we read about not less than 15 job ads for Ukrainians, about a Ukrainian mother of 4 who unexpectedly received money from a complete stranger at the gas station, about a convoy of aid trucks being loaded, once again, to depart for those stuck without any electricity, water, or food, in some of the Ukrainian cities. That was only a 5 minute scroll, on only one day, only in Romania. This is a response that we can be proud of and that we have to continue for as long as possible.
Viking is part of this humanitarian response, reaching out from individual support from our employees to cross-country projects. Colleagues from Romania have offered transportation from the border, shelter and donations of food, clothing, toys and even blood donations. From our warehouses in Europe, two trucks filled with goods have already reached The Romanian Red Cross and The Romanian Maltese Relief Service. Other similar transports are being prepared as we speak and will reach those in need through a trusted network of NGOs, front-line organizations that we have been working with for the past 14 years.
“We are thankful to see how quickly our Viking colleagues have mobilized in helping the refugees and how fast they responded to the refugees’ aid both personally and through our company’s help”, says Andra, one of our colleagues in Cluj. After discussions with 2 major partner organisations, a list of needed items was produced and shared. “As we are returning to the office, it is amazing to see the almost instant reaction of our people, who just show up with boxes filled with toys and supplies”, Carla says. These donations will reach people in need across the border, into Ukraine.
We are united in our efforts and continuous support will be offered as the situation develops. We have already been touched by the response we saw in Romania, matching our motto of #growingstrongertogether.