UD Students Volunteer to Help

Students of the University of Debrecen have worked as volunteers at the border crossing at Biharkeresztes for over two months. So far they have facilitated aliens policing procedures through providing translation services for the police in about 600 cases.

The University of Debrecen has helped those in need arriving in Hungary ever since the onset of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. UD has allocated dormitory places and organised donation campaigns for the refugees, and has also provided on-site support at the border through its students who volunteered to translate for the authorities.

So far, about 50 students responded to the call of the Humanitarian Coordination Committee, established in mid-March, and signed up to work as volunteers at the Biharkeresztes border crossing.

- The University of Debrecen continues to help refugees arriving from Ukraine. We are proud of our students, who set an example for their fellows and for all of us with their social responsibility. Some of them are directly or indirectly affected by the conflict – Károly Pető, vice rector for general affairs of UD told hirek.unideb.hu.
The Russian- and/or Ukrainian-speaking students work 8 hours every day in shifts starting at 7am, 4pm and 11pm, and support refugees during aliens policing registration.

- Until 31 May, UD students had helped the police as translators in almost 600 cases, thus facilitating the aliens policing procedures regarding refugees arriving to the border. The vehicle that transports the students to Biharkeresztes and back has done over 35,000 km since March – explained Béla Szilárd Juhász, staff member of the Mental Health Centre of UD, which is responsible for organising and coordinating the volunteer programme.
Volunteering students are rewarded, among other things, with a scholarship offered by the Students’ Council of UD.

- Over recent months, the Students’ Council has supported the volunteers with over HUF 6 million, and announced a special, single social scholarship programme for the 354 UD students who are Ukrainian nationals. 257 of them submitted their applications, and received a total of HUF 20,560,000. All applicants received a one-time social scholarship to the amount of HUF 80,000 – said István Csont, president of the Students’ Council of UD, adding that the Council had provided the volunteers with sweaters with a UD logo in March and UD t-shirts in May.

When the Russian-Ukrainian war began, the university immediately made 300 dormitory places available for refugees.
- Currently, 70 refugees are staying in the dormitories of UD, most of whom are students and teachers with scholarships. So far, 288 refugees have found shelter in our dormitories. We recorded the highest number a month ago, when close to 130 refugees were accommodated in the dormitories of UD. Many of the refugees are willing to stay for longer periods in the dormitory. From time to time, at the request of the municipality of Debrecen or the county disaster management services, we also provide accommodation for refugee families for a few nights – explained Imre Csiszár, head of the Dormitory Directorate of the university.

The Students’ Council of UD was among the first to launch a donation campaign among university citizens. The collecting points ran out of place within a few days. At the campuses of UD – 4 in Debrecen and one in Szolnok, Nyíregyháza and Hajdúböszörmény – 8.5 tons of donated goods have been collected so far for those fleeing the war. The Council continues to collect donations at all campuses of the university.

Press Centre - ÉE