Ukraine crisis: Internet to contribute to the refugees’ safety and wellbeing – Romania

Over 5 million refugees have already fled Ukraine. 90% of them are women and children. They have been forced to leave often on short notice, leaving their life, their husband and father behind in the pursuit of a safer, but at the same time dangerous and unknown future ahead, in a new country. The evaluation conducted by TSF to measure the free Wi-Fi connection installed on the bus convoys impact safely bringing rescuers from Ukraine to Romania, shows that this connection represents a vital support for them.

“Our experience tells us that in such distressing situations, even just a few minutes of a familiar voice can be of paramount importance. It provides of course psychological relief, but it also helps to make better decisions for their future, and the future of their family, which is, in these cases, essential,” highlights Monique Lanne-Petit, TSF Director. It is indeed not surprising to see that all of the survivors interviewed state that the Internet connection had a positive impact on their lives, nearly 90% of them use it to contact their families, and the same percentage reports relief upon having access to the psychological relief Internet.

After contacting their family, the main uses of the free Wi-Fi are to learn more about the Ukraine crisis, and to have a better idea of ​​the possible options they have for their future. Beyond maintaining family links, there is indeed another essential need refugees have: access to information. Leaving their home country on short notice, for millions of people meant that from one day to the other they became refugees, displaced people, those words they had probably read and heard many times, but had never certainly thought about what they actually meant, and especially had never thought they could become one of them one day. It also implies, even more for women and children traveling alone, an increased risk of violence and exploitation. Knowing their rights and having access to all the necessary information to travel safely is an important way to contribute to their protection. This is why TSF’s connection is also important; it allows them to receive new information (75%) they would have more difficulties to find without Internet, to make important decisions for their life thanks to this information (88%), and to be aware of their human legal rights (60%) .

The Ukraine crisis will continue to evolve in the coming weeks and months. TSF remains pre-positioned in different areas within Ukraine and in the neighboring countries to ensure a rapid response and all the necessary assistance to the refugees and displaced people seeking refuge.

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