Restoring Hope and Rebuilding Lives - UFU Reflections on World Refugee Day

June 20, 2023

Today is World Refugee Day.

For millions of Ukrainians, this is a special day because the Russian war against Ukraine has caused the largest refugee crisis of this century, forcing over 8 million people to leave the country and another 8 million to seek safety in other regions of Ukraine.

On this day, we can’t help but ponder the results of our work, as our initiative was born on the first day of full-scale Russian aggression to support Ukrainians who were forced to leave their country due to the war.

Looking back at the past 16 months, we have transformed from a website providing essential information on crossing borders into a pan-European platform covering over 28 countries. With the support of powerful partners such as the International Rescue Committee (IRC),, Phineo, Airbnb, Meta, and more than 400 lawyers from different countries, we can consistently provide individual consultations, legal advice, and occasional assistance with temporary housing.

Here are some numbers that outline our assistance to Ukrainian displaced persons:

  • 9,000,000+ people received informational support.
  • 47,000+ people received individual consultations.
  • 6, 900+ people received free legal support.
  • 12,000+ people received temporary free housing.

Behind the scenes of our online platform, there is meticulous and systematic work. The UFU team regularly gathers essential information for refugees and internally displaced persons regarding border crossings, services and benefits for migrants, financial and psychological support, housing and job searches. United for Ukraine has also established a network of lawyers and a call center that handles an average of 1,000 inquiries per week to provide emergency assistance.

Some inquiries are a little help with information, while others impact whole destinies. When people are forced to hastily leave their homes, with cities and settlements destroyed, where it has become dangerous and impossible to stay, they are partially left alone with their problems in an informational vacuum, filled with fear and uncertainty about tomorrow. It is in helping in such critical cases that the importance of our work becomes evident.

One example is the story of Olga and her daughter, who moved to the United Kingdom in March 2022. The affordable accommodation they found in Cardiff was comfortable during the summer, but the conditions became almost uninhabitable in winter due to the unbearable cold. Additionally, Olga's mother came to visit, requiring urgent heart surgery. While doctors fought for the older woman's life, Olga searched for housing and turned to United for Ukraine for help. "We were provided accommodation in a hotel for ten days in the same city. We could finally take a bath, warm up, do laundry, and gather strength for my mother's further treatment in the hospital," Olga gratefully recalls the prompt response from UFU volunteers.

"No matter how difficult things may seem, do not lose hope. You have to know that there are people ready to help you everywhere," assures the protagonist of another story. Yana and her boyfriend got into a car accident in Germany, suffering multiple injuries and ending up in the hospital. Her mother rushed to care for her from Ukraine without knowing where they would live. The hotel would have cost 170 euros per day – an unaffordable amount. Fortunately, Yana immediately applied for free housing from United for Ukraine, which the team found within a few days. Most importantly, it was just 20 minutes from the hospital where Yana was being treated. Initially, the accommodation was provided for two weeks, but the term was later extended.

United for Ukraine has encountered numerous stories like these — each one representing a shattered destiny. Lives that have been saved, supported, and restored, instilling hope in people for a better future. The United for Ukraine team tirelessly works to support and unite refugees from Ukraine, regardless of where they find themselves due to the war.

We continue to provide informational support to Ukrainians abroad and internally displaced persons. You can always visit the UFU platform ( or message us directly to receive a free consultation and legal assistance. Access to reliable and verified information is critically important; we are always ready to help.

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