The community of the University of Bucharest – professors, students and administrative staff – has mobilized in recent days to support Ukrainian and international students and professors in the neighbouring country, severely affected by the war.
Thus, more than 300 accommodation places were arranged in the dormitories of the University of Bucharest, within the “Academica” Guest House, in the CEREFREA Villa Noël headquarters, as well as in the buildings of the Baptist Theological Institute – UB Faculty of Baptist Theology.
The first people have arrived and have already been accommodated in the UB premises. So far, 174 Nigerian, Egyptian, Moroccan, Syrian and Ukrainian students have been welcomed in the dormitories. Two other families and three other Ukrainian students were welcomed at the CEREFREA Villa Noël, while another 26 people from Ukraine are expected to arrive at the dormitory of the Baptist Theological Institute.
Sofia from Ukraine (22 years old) and Ahmed (25 years old, Egyptian student), parents of a 5-month-old girl named Amira, hosted by the University of Bucharest (news photo)
Sofia H.: “My parents live in Lugansk, which is occupied and where it is even worse than in the rest of Ukraine because in Ukraine people are still defended, while in Lugansk no one is defending them. There they can confiscate your property at any time and even kill you without anyone being able to object. My parents, who are old, have not left because they hate the feeling of uncertainty and can hardly adapt to new situations.
At the same time, my brother and very close friends stayed in Kyiv. The last time I talked to my brother, he told me he had money on his credit card, but that there was no money in ATMs. Thus, he has no money to buy food and it is very difficult for him to find supplies. The shops are empty, too.”
Ahmed H.: “People in Ukraine are very scared. They hear the bombings all day and they don’t know where to hide. They must either leave their homes to find a place to hide or stay in their homes. And this happens several times a day. It’s really hard and traumatic. Besides, they don’t know what to eat the next day. Some people have no support. There are old people out there who can’t walk and can’t get to the right place to hide.”
It should be mentioned that the international students coming from Ukraine are in transit on the Romanian territory, they are going to the countries of origin. Thus, once the accommodation places are released by those in transit, the University of Bucharest will be able to receive other people. Economic agents and private companies contribute to the efforts of the University of Bucharest to help those escaping the war; donations in cash and food products, amounting to approximately 40,000 lei, have been made so far to provide food to those accommodated in the UB premises.
The University has also opened two centres for collecting material aid for refugees from Ukraine, where both students, professors and administrative staff of the UB, as well as anyone else can help with hygiene products, non-perishable food, water, soft drinks or any product that can help refugees.
The donations are collected in several administrative centres of the University of Bucharest:
• Social Service inside the Grozăvești Campus (Splaiul Independenței, no. 204, Bucharest)
• “Mihail Kogălniceanu” canteen of the University of Bucharest (Bd. Mihail Kogălniceanu, no. 36-46, Bucharest).
To the two donation centres opened by the Rectorate of the University of Bucharest are added two more of the Faculty of Letters and, respectively, the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Bucharest. Donations may include surgical masks, non-perishable food, disinfectants and hygiene products (toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, soap, wet wipes, absorbents and baby products, etc.), towels and/or blankets.
The donation centre in the Marble Hall of the Faculty of Letters (5 Edgar Quinet Street, Bucharest) is open from 10:00 to 15:00.
Also, in collaboration with the Faculty of Political Science, the Political Science Students Association launched the “#SolidarityStudents – Together with Ukraine, regardless of age” has launched the mobilization initiative to raise donations to all people and all student associations in the country. Donations (non-perishable food, water, clothes, blankets) can also be made at the donations centre of the Faculty of Political Science (Calea Plevnei, no. 59), open from Monday to Friday, between 10:00 and 20:00. More details on the ASSP-UB initiative can be found here.
At the same time, all those who want to financially support the efforts to support the refugees from the Ukraine can donate to the Virtute et Sapientia Foundation of the University of Bucharest, in the following account:
Virtute et Sapientia Foundation of the University of Bucharest
IBAN cont RON: RO57BRDE410SV69608784100
IBAN cont EUR: RO84BRDE410SV84148544100
IBAN cont USD: RO89BRDE410SV84296854100
IBAN cont GBP: RO80BRDE410SV84148624100
Those donating are asked to specify “Ukraine” in Payment Details.
The Faculty of History and the Faculty of Political Science have also launched calls to raise funds to support Ukrainian and international refugee students and professors in Romania. Information on how to support them can be found here.
Also worth mentioning is the initiative of a group of volunteers, professors and students of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures of the University of Bucharest, Ukrainian Section, which provides sustained support in recent days for the translation into Ukrainian of documents provided by institutions of Romanian state, documents with useful information for all Ukrainian citizens coming to Romania, legal documents, as well as medical documents that will be used by Romanian medical teams who are preparing to support, in Ukraine, the victims of war. Thus, the group collaborated both with government institutions involved in managing the current situation, with non-governmental organizations (e.g. Code4RO, in the creation of the platform www.dopohoma.ro, organizations that are on the border with Ukraine and that need interpreters in Ukrainian) or with professional associations, for the translation of documents or the provision of interpreters in the Ukrainian language.
The University of Bucharest welcomes all initiatives to support the Ukrainian population that, individually, in initiative or institutional groups, the Romanians run during this difficult period. At the same time, the University of Bucharest urges to continue all this collective effort to help the victims of the armed conflict in Ukraine.