Another important step taken at the university to help refugees

The University of Debrecen has recently established a committee called Humanitárius Koordinációs Bizottság. Our institution has taken an active part in assisting refugees of the Ukrainian-Russian war from the very beginning but the prolongation of the conflict has ultimately made it necessary to draft a complex humanitarian plan for handling the situation.

The new program is meant to comprise all the initiatives that have already been launched at the University of Debrecen before, through the participation of the representatives of the individual organizational units concerned. The committee will be coordinating the fundraising efforts of the students and staff as well as organizing the storage and transportation capacities. In addition, the leadership of our institution will establish an even closer contact with the charitable organizations operating at the border and initiate further charities in cooperation with the municipality of Debrecen and the various churches.

As Vice Rector for General Affairs Ákos Pintér, the head of Humanitárius Koordinációs Bizottság, explained to, the most significant step forward this time was that the voluntary humanitarian aid program of the University of Debrecen could be launched in an organized and coordinated fashion.

“The University of Debrecen has already demonstrated in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic that it is capable of social responsibility. Now, due to the escalation of the war, we need to put our best foot forward again. The committee will be recruiting groups of 2 to 3 volunteers who will be at the disposal of the refugees and the authorities round the clock. Primarily, we expect students from the Trans-Carpathian region who speak Hungarian, Ukrainian and Russian fluently. They would then assist by translating mainly around the border checkpoints at Biharkeresztes and Ártánd, so as to facilitate a smooth registration procedure of the refugees. This means that we offer help this time specifically through providing translation and interpreting,” said Ákos Pintér.

For assisting the new refugees, the University of Debrecen is in close cooperation with Hajdú-Bihar Megyei Kormányhivatal [Government Office of Hajdú-Bihar County], the representatives of which have recently indicated that there is a lack of competent interpreters along the eastern border of Hungary. The students who participate in the program may receive some academic benefits in return. For example, their voluntary assistance can be considered as a kind of practical course and they may also be granted exemption from attending certain classes while being involved in this effort.

The first group of three student volunteers and the program coordinator set off for Biharkeresztes early Friday morning. They would be on an eight-hour “duty” at the Hungarian-Romanian border and then relieved by the next group from the university in the afternoon. Their help is badly needed indeed, since there are roughly 150 to 200 people per train arriving through Romania from locations further away in Ukraine such as Kharkiv.

Press Office – PKZs