A citizens’ initiative has just been launched to help Ukrainian refugee families find free emergency housing across Europe.
Launched in only 48 hours last weekend by 4 tech entrepreneurs: the co-founders of Jobgether, Arnaud Devigne based in France, Alexandre Hernandez based in Spain, Juan Bourgeois based in Belgium and the CTO Alexis Rodriguez based in Colombia.
EU4UA allows Ukrainian refugees to connect with European citizens willing to provide free emergency accommodation in no more than a click. Users can share their own housing or make one of the 11 million empty houses in Europe available. It is thanks to the mobilization, in less than five days, of two hundred people around the world from Tech that this initiative was able to see the light of day.
The project founders aim to enable all refugees to find decent housing for free and therefore avoid the harsh conditions faced in refugee camps. To do so, they seek to use the internet and technologies to activate decentralised, spontaneous manifestations of solidarity in response to the unprecedented international crisis we are currently facing.
We are in a situation where 1,5 million Ukrainian refugees, mainly single mothers with children, have already fled Ukraine and 5 millions of additional Ukrainians could be coming into the European Union in the coming weeks. Faced with this tragedy, millions of families in the EU are expressing their solidarity and desire to help.According to Arnaud Devigne co-founder of the EU4UA initiative
Unfortunately, the absence of effective solutions means there is a disconnect between these two populations. The platform we have developed within our start-up uses know-how that “matches” international supply and demand within the job market. We quickly understood that this could be applied to finding accommodation for refugees.
NGOs are doing incredible work on the ground. We seek to facilitate their work by helping provide the means with which to access short and medium-term accommodation following the emergency reception of these refugees.
The initiative has come at a time when European authorities have just announced their decision to allow Ukrainian refugees to stay in the EU without having to apply for asylum. Moreover, it echoes the call of many mayors and local authorities encouraging their constituents to welcome refugees.
The platform has already identified more than 10,000 refugees registered on the platform, i.e. 3,000 refugee families. 5,000 host families have also registered on the platform, having already been able to help 1,000 refugee families.
If we succeed in making the life of even one childless painful, we will have achieved our goal and will continue to develop the project so as to extend its reach and put technology at the service of solidaritysaid Juan Bourgeois, co-founder of the project.
The biggest challenge remains for the platform to make itself known to the thousands of refugees arriving at the borders of Eastern European countries.