'Budapest Helps!' refugee centre marks one year anniversary

Childrens activity at the Budapest Helps! refugee centre
Childrens activity at the Budapest Helps! refugee centre Copyright Euronews
By Euronews
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One year after opening its doors, the 'Budapest Helps!' community centre has offered support to almost 12,000 refugees from Ukraine.


Music activities for children and Hungarian language classes - these are just some of the programs offered by the 'Budapest Helps!' community centre. Set up by the municipality of Budapest together with the International Organization for Migration and the UNHCR, it aims to help refugees integrate into Hungarian society.

The hub was set up a year ago after the Russian war in Ukraine forced thousands of Ukrainians to flee their homes. The Center says it served almost 12,000 people since it opened its doors and has become a key platform for information, social inclusion activities, and most importantly – community.

These people arrived in a foreign country, where they knew no one and had to find their place and build their new life. That's what we're trying to help them do, finding their new place, their new goals in their new life.
Ernő Simon
UNHCR Spokesperson in Hungary

Although Hungary has not joined other EU states in giving Ukraine military support it offers humanitarian aid, 'Budapest Helps!'  aims to provide humanitarian aid at a local level. It offers guidance and support with access to social services like education, health care, the job market, financial support, accommodation, housing and mental health services for both adults and children. 

“This Center marks the success of a common vision and initiative between civil society and local authorities, national and international partners and the refugee community and the citizens who have welcomed them with open arms,” said Muriel Tschopp, UNHCR acting Representative for Central Europe. 

The work of the centre has been supported by the US State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Japanese and Swedish governments.

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