Refugees and Asylum Seekers

The main problem for refugees, including those who live in Kharkov, is a difficulty of orientation and adaptation. In a large extent this situation results from the objective barriers and unsolved issues the target group faces.

Children refugees and asylum seekers who just arrive to the region appear to be especially vulnerable part of children. Problems with language on which school subjects are passed, unresolved psychological and social problems are not allow them to study in those class which is corresponded to their age.

Unsolved problems that touch legal rights as well as ignorance of these rights, difficulties in communications with classmates and teachers, psychological problems the children face create objective barriers to adaptation and put children in unequal conditions with theier Ukrainian peers.

Outward appearance and cultural differences as well as ignorance and misunderstanding the problems the target group are faced lead to negative perception of them by the Ukrainian citizens. It leads to increasing the level of xenophobia and racism in the Ukrainian society.

Therefore, АSSА conducted series of projects that were directed to adaptation of children and youth refugees and asylum seekers to Ukrainian society.

Within the framework of these projects АSSА's specialists provided children and their parents from the target group with psychological and legal assistance. Ukrainian young people who are students of Kharkov higher educational establishments worked with children as volunteers on the "equal to equal" principle. They helped to execute homeworks on basic school disciplines, conducted holidays, took part equally in trainings that were conducted by АSSА. This work not only positively influenced on the best perception of school material, personal level of children and youth from the target group and perfection of language skills, but also formed positive attitude at the Ukrainian young people toward the children refugees and asylum seekers.

In its projects АSSА also paid attention to the women of this target group. For this, АSSА organized classes on Russian and Ukrainian languages for Afghan women that came with their children of preschool age. Someone from senior children was present on such classes as a translator. During these lessons exercises, psychological etudes, role plays were performed. That developed communication skills in different vital situations, namely: visit hospital, doctors-specialists, a shop, a pharmacy, establishing contacts with teachers at school.

These projects were financed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Danish Refugee Council (DRC).