Tons of food and adapters for children: Prague City Hall helps refugees from Ukraine

So far, 120 refugees have been accommodated in Prague 4. “Mothers with children in particular are now in the building of the former Horáčková kindergarten, in two dormitories in the city district and also in several apartments “, described Jiří Bigas, spokesperson for Prague 4.

Prague 22 has found accommodation for 500 people from Ukraine. “Some live in private apartments, others in urban areas. We also housed them in the Misuri facility, which is still partially renovated. It is the old hostel that was rebuilt for a record time in a fortnight,” said Veronika Blažková, spokesperson for Prague 22.

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Another 100 people were housed in Prague 10 in the Malešice building. “We know other larger groups of people at Hotel Slavia and Czech Inn Hostel. We also try to bring important information there through the coordinators,” confirmed Jan Hamrník, a spokesperson for Prague 10, which in practice finds out exactly how to get relevant information directly to refugees. According to him, effective information is a bit complicated. “It just came to our attention at the time. So we saw the Ukraine Aid website as a guide to key institutions. We also have new Q&As, which we’ve put in place after experiencing the questions people were writing to us on our social media,” he explained.

Students also help adapt

Another area where metropolitan town halls help is education. For example, there are 60 children in the adaptation groups in Prague 8, and even 200 in Prague 7. There are Ukrainian teachers in each group, assisted by Czech teachers or assistants. Students who speak both Czech and Ukrainian or Russian are also involved.

Prague 7 is also currently preparing cooperation with language teachers. “Children in the adaptation groups gradually get used to the new environment, learn the basics of the Czech language and prepare for the transition to standard education,” said Hana Šišková, Prague 7’s councilor for education and the training, adding that Ukrainian children should be tested in their regular classes.

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Czech and Ukrainian schoolchildren from Prague 1 then attended an adaptation course in Janov nad Nisou. A trip to Liberec Zoo, Ještěd and Mumlavský waterfalls awaits them. “This form of adaptation of Ukrainian pupils to the Czech environment and new Czech friends was invented by our primary school principals themselves”, underlined Eva Špačková, deputy mayor of Prague 1 for education.

The Fourth District accepts refugee children in its kindergartens and primary schools. In addition, he organized a collection of supplies for war orphans aged from birth to seven months, a collection of school bags and other supplies for Ukrainian schoolchildren.

In Prague 10, demand exceeds free capacity by several hundred percent in kindergartens, but especially in primary schools. “So we started down the path of setting up adaptation groups – for primary schools so far at Karel Čapek Primary School, we are preparing for Rybníčky Primary School, and for gardens children at the Jasmínová primary school,” said Jan Hamrník.

He tries to unite divided families

However, they help the city district in virtually every aspect of refugee life in Prague. At eight, he tries to lend a hand in family reunification. “If there are refugees at the House of Culture in Krakow who have other family members in other emergency accommodation, we agree on the possibility of moving to each other. It helps the refugees a lot when the family comes together. Mentally, it supports them, and they are even better able to take care of each other,” said Martin Šalek, spokesman for Prague 8.

The second part of the city, in cooperation with citizens, organizes a collection of materials on Balbínova Street, where Ukrainian mothers will find clothes not only for themselves, but also for their children, toiletries and diapers . The City Hall of Prague 2 has also created a map of its neighborhood in Ukrainian, which helps refugees find their way around the area.

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The call “Bring backpacks” in Prague 6 has become an unconventional act.

“We assumed that the children themselves knew best what could make other children happy. We collected more than a hundred backpacks with pencils, notebooks, snack boxes or stuffed animals,” said said Jiří Hannich, spokesperson for Prague 6.

Involvement in normal life through courses, adaptation groups teaching Czech, providing documents or helping to find a job. That’s the goal of Prague 22. “We put processes in place so that they don’t overload the office too much. Some things go faster, others take time. The integration of Ukrainians in Prague 22 is proceeding as much as possible. It has to be managed,” Mayor Tomáš Kaněra added.

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