"Ukraine does not help us at all", the refugees who didn’t manage to illegally cross the border complain

Tatiana Literati, "Stary Zamok"  24 July 2012 10:58  39017306 117797
"Ukraine does not help us at all", the refugees complain

On June 20, Ukraine celebrated World Refugee Day. In fact, there were no celebrations and in general this topic is delicate and complicated, especially in Transcarpathia, where almost every week border guards block the way to another "portion" of illegal immigrants who are storming the state border.

5000 dollars – and an illegal is in Slovakia
 On the territory of Transcarpathia the temporary accommodation of refugees consists of two buildings – one is in Mukachevo and another one – in Perechin. In total there are 56 people there, applying for a refugee status, among them there are 29 children including five teenagers without adult supervision.

Recently, within a joint project of Uzhgorod Press Club and Danish Refugee Council "Ukraine is my second home" the festival with the performances of clowns, master classes, soap bubbles show and a concert was organized for the children living in the Mukachevo shelter. Children, of course, were happy, but in general, not all residents of temporary shelters are ready to support the slogan of the project without hiding the fact that they want to see one of the countries of European Union their second home (most often - Germany).
 Each of the inhabitants here has their own tragic story, though many people are not inclined to believe them till the end, since this very story (truthfulness of which, of course, is impossible to verify) can affect a resident of the shelter being granted a refugee status and being able to legally enter the EU or the USA one day.
 For example, a smiling 17-year-old Maroufi Said Murtaza said that his family was offered to cross the border with Slovakia for 5000 dollars per person, and for 10 thousands of "greens" carriers can deliver illegal immigrants to Germany. The whole Maroufi’s family consists of 8 people, so just imagine how much money they need to get to cherished Europe! The guy himself said that his family moved from his homeland Afghanistan to Pakistan and lived there quite well, but then his father was killed. His mother didn’t want to go back from dangerous Pakistan to Afghanistan, which is not less dangerous, so she decided to take a risky step, gathered children, brought them first to Moscow, then to Odessa, and finally to Mukachevo. This “travelling” has been going on for 3 years. During this time, Marufi has learned Russian well. In general he and his family are satisfied with the conditions in the shelter, they say that sometimes they can even earn some money doing odd jobs.

Iranian star of Transcarpathian football

The Deputy Director of the temporary accommodation center Peter Rasola explains, they are not engaged in making documents for the refugees, but only provide their allowance. The state allocates 15 hryvnya per day for one person, which is enough for people to buy food. The only canteen does not work because the refugees come here from different countries, so they are used to different foods. Local residents of the centre are free to go beyond the point, but must come back till 11.00 p.m.
 Some of them find extra work, but the main obstacle is the language barrier. "We talked to management of plant "Flextronix" in Mukachevo, says Peter Rasola, and we were promised that as soon as the opportunity to hire new people appears, our refugees will also be able to find a job here. It is very important for them. Maybe if they start working they will stop wanting to go abroad so much".

Some of the residents of the shelter have really decided to stay in Ukraine. For example, there is a family from Syria, which has been living in Mukachevo since 2007. They cannot receive documents proving their refugee status yet but they do not lose hope. A younger member of the family – a 16-year-old Falka can hardly be distinguished from the local children. The girl goes to school number 16, speaks perfect Russian and Ukrainian, has friends in the city and her school and says that she has never heard any insulting words about herself.
 The Iranian Murteza Valizade, named Denis in the shelter, does not feel uncomfortable in Ukraine. After having had an unsuccessful attempt to cross the border, he found himself in Mukachevo. Denis has shown an outstanding ability to play football. Now he is a local "star". The guy is so happy with his present life that he does not even think about moving from Ukraine.
 Another talent of the centre is a deaf couple from Afghanistan. The husband and the wife said that their deafness is a result of a concussion during the bombing. Nobody knows if it is true, but the women of the family make very beautiful things of beads, leather and velvet.
 Perhaps it is the most difficult to live here for the teenagers who fled from their country without their parents. Now there are five of them who live in Mukachevo, mostly from Somalia. A lot of "illegal" children have been born in Ukraine.

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Крістіна  31/07/2012 10:45 am

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