2024. May 17., Friday

Related website: Alpakaland.hu

Our mission

Destroyed cities, barren farmland. Wars have been a part of our lives since the beginning of history, along with radical changes in the natural environment. These are the two factors that most often force people to leave their homes en masse.

Refugee movements not only signal a crisis where refugees have to leave, but also challenge host societies. From one moment to the next, many strangers enter our country, often desperate and at a loss as they find themselves in a place they are completely unfamiliar with.

Migration Aid’s mission is to find solutions to these crises that both help refugees and are tolerable for the host society. We are typically on the frontline of assistance, engaging with refugees while they are still on the move. We build bridges between strangers and hosts.

One of the first questions a refugee is forced to ask himself when he steps onto foreign soil is: where can I sleep? The less financial reserves someone has been forced to leave home with, the more serious the question becomes. Creating a safe haven is therefore a central challenge for asylum.

Migration Aid currently operates Hungary’s largest transit refugee shelter: our facility in Madridi Street, Budapest, has provided temporary safe shelter to nearly 18,000 refugees from Ukraine in the first year after opening. And as a long-term accommodation, we have a refugee shelter in Győr with a capacity of 70 people.

Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Home to 80,000 Syrian refugees.

Creating a safe haven is a complex task in itself. We are also on the threshold of an era of energy and food crisis in technologically advanced Western societies. Therefore, safe shelter is no longer just a shelter, but a solution that can function in a self-sufficient way, providing at least a minimum level of heating, hot water and electricity.

In search of an appropriate response to the latest challenges, MigAid has started to develop the Green Shelter concept, the essence of our experience to date. This is a modular shelter that can be built anywhere in a matter of days, either as part of a temporary tented camp or as the architectural solution for a longer-term shelter village.

Refugees from war are often severely traumatised, having to deal with the trauma of their trauma in an alien environment. Psychological healing is another major challenge we are trying to address. Our current solution is to work in partnership with other organisations specialising in mental health care to help those who stay in our refugee accommodation for longer periods. In the near future, we would like to pilot an animal-assisted therapy space in the vicinity of Lake Kis-Balaton, where refugees with war traumas, especially children and mothers, can heal in a natural setting surrounded by animals.

The focus of our outreach activities is on children and single mothers. We give them a special place because they are among the most vulnerable in the Ukrainian refugee crisis. Mothers who have had to leave behind or even lose their family members who were in the military in Ukraine. Not only do we pay special attention to them in our refugee shelters, Learning Without Borders is also a unique learning opportunity in Hungary: children can learn with the help of Ukrainian refugee teachers, partly in attendance and partly online, connected to the Ukrainian education system.

Fleeing the chaos of war and arriving in a foreign country, it is often difficult to get the information you need to start afresh. This is particularly challenging when the host country authorities are not up to the task or there is no political will to build a transparent, effective information system for refugees. Migration Aid’s latest project, SOS Ukraine, launched in autumn 2022, aims to organise and keep up-to-date information relevant and important for Ukrainian refugees in Hungary, covering all aspects of life.