Results of Site Management and Community-Based Response project funded by NRC

AMURTEL started with the coordination of civic society organisations at the border of Siret in April 2022. It achieved rapid success and fostered a congenial working environment between NGOs and the Romanian General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations(ISU).  AMURTEL created a service mapping published and regularly updated on the website and held regular coordination meetings at the border police facilities between the stakeholders,   including NGOs and ISU. This work was later cited by UNHCR in the first Suceava-wide coordination meeting as textbook coordination work and an example to follow.

By May 2022, NRC invited AMURTEL to expand its area of operation and it did a rapid assessment of various other borders and cities. The result was a change in the scope and area of the project to include the cities of Brasov and Bucharest. In June, AMURTEL forged an open and fruitful collaboration with the city of Brasov to strengthen and support its CATTIA  Refugee center (a technology center converted to a refugee hub) with a site management team made up primarily of Ukrainian refugees. They would support the registration of refugees, coordinate the daily functioning of the center, operate the City’s call center and manage its humanitarian aid distribution.

By August, NRC conducted an UDOC training of AMURT’s staff in Moldovia and shortly thereafter, AMURTEL set up mobile teams in Bucharest and Suceava staffed mostly by Ukrainian refugees. These teams met the refugees in their places of gathering, processed 1,625 inter-agency referrals, and disseminated positive and constructive information both online and face-to-face based on the requests and needs submitted by the refugees.  The team became quite enthusiastically involved in going the extra mile to support refugees in solving problems, including distributing internet devices in Suceava and dignity kits in Bucharest.

In Bucharest and Brasov, the UDOC teams organized several social cohesion events that were well attended by the host community and the refugees and highlighted on both local and national media, including TVR1, ProTV and “Libertatea”,  the largest newspaper in Romania. In Bucharest, the team organized a Christmas Carol exchange between 136 Ukrainians and Romanians at the University of Music, in which the participants learned each other’s traditional carols and sang together, creating a festive atmosphere of unity and solidarity.

Another highlight of the project was AMURTEL’s systematic and rapid response social media initiative. AMURTEL set up its own telegram channel, reaching 143,000 views with information provision, far surpassing the initial target of 50,000. Staffed entirely by Ukrainians, the secret to its success was the quick and well-researched responses to misunderstandings, misinformation and queries circulating on the myriad of public and private social media channels.