Many Ukrainian refugees arriving in Cyprus, especially those who chose to live in Limassol, are facing problems due to high rents and language barriers. Not only that, most are not aware of specific services they can avail of on the island.
In an effort to ease the strain on the new arrivals, a call center has been set up that will provide comprehensive information to refugees from Ukraine regarding immigration, education, welfare and other relevant matters. It is set to begin operating today, March 31st, according to the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy.
The move aims to assist thousands of Ukrainian refugees that have come to Cyprus by providing them with the information they need to integrate into society as quickly as possible, especially those with children.
In Limassol alone, more than 3,000 refugees are estimated to have arrived in recent weeks and according to representatives of the local Ukrainian community in Cyprus, many of them are facing difficulties due to high rents and language barriers. Most of the children speak neither English nor Greek.
Olga Brodskaya, one of the coordinators of the Ukrainian community in Cyprus, said that the children are facing particular problems and a request is pending for the Ministry of Education to provide classes in English so as to allow them to easily integrate into the community. She said, "If there are enough Ukrainians left here, we plan to open a school next year, where children will be able to take lessons in Ukrainian history and the Ukrainian language,"
The Mayor of Limassol, Nicos Nicolaides, stated that many of the Ukrainians who have recently arrived stay with relatives or friends, while others are assisted by organizations that provide free housing for a few weeks until they can find work and a place of their own.
The helpline will provide the refugees with specific information on employment, welfare services, temporary residence cards and schools for their children, among other things.