Budapest's largest refugee centre is facing a crisis and might close soon

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By Euronews
The largest refugee centre in Budapest is seeking donations to keep operating past winter
The largest refugee centre in Budapest is seeking donations to keep operating past winter   -   Copyright  Anna Szilagyi/AP

The Madridi refugee Street centre in Hungary has provided shelter to hundreds of families fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Kristina fled Kyiv during the bombing. She says staying in this hostel has brought her a little bit of peace of mind

"When you live in a warzone, you get used to certain things, and you accept them," she says. "But when you come to a safe place, you feel completely different. You can finally plan your week, your month in advance. In Ukraine, people can't even plan for the next hour ahead."

But Budapest's biggest refugee centre, entirely run by volunteers is facing a crisis.

Donations have dwindled and the hostel looks like it will only stay open until mid-January.

"More and more people are coming over here... There is no heating, no electricity, and no work in Ukraine," said Alexandra Vígh, board member of the refugee hostel run by Migration Aid.

"Those who are coming face a huge challenge, I think the biggest challenge of their lives. And we really want to continue our work and operate our facility at least until the end of winter," she said in an interview with Euronews. 

Twelve-year-old Nyikita fled Ukraine with his mother who was unemployed and scared she wouldn't be able to make ends meet.

He says he's very grateful to have found some stability in life.

"I feel safe and good, I have friends here, the internet, something to eat. And the main thing is that there are no warplanes and rockets, no gunshots, that's what matters most," he told Euronews. 

According to the organisation, inflation as well as the energy crisis has strongly impacted people's ability to donate to the shelter.

If the contributions don't start pouring in, the NGO will have to close the facility. 

If you'd like to donate to the shelter, click on this link.