SPAIN has taken in thousands of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion and many people have been moved to help, from driving to the border to deliver supplies and collect refugees, to offering their homes.

Expats in Spain or those with second homes or holiday homes here are also keen to do their bit and several people have been in touch with the Olive Press to ask how they can put in touch with a family to offer them shelter.

We looked into it and here’s what we found out.

Homes for Ukraine scheme

Refugees On Ukrainian Slovak International Border
Refugees fleeing the Russian invasion in Ukraine reach the border with Slovakia from where they will seek relocation. Photo: Cordon Press

Spain’s Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration announced on March 17 a new pilot programme for the reception of Ukrainian refugees. The main objective of the programme is to establish a network of host families to welcome Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion of their country.

The pilot programme will last six months, extendable to one year, and through it the government hopes to facilitate the integration of new arrivals.

However, it will initially only run in four provinces across the country: Madrid, Barcelona, Murcia and Malaga.

In order to host new arrivals from Ukraine in their homes, families in Spain must first make an application of interest, and an initial screening will then be carried out.

They will be evaluated in collaboration with city-level social services and third sector entities, in order to determine whether or not they have the capacity to host Ukrainian refugees and if their housing is adequate for such a purpose.

Once an application is accepted they will be formally registered, and financial support will be offered to support both the refugee individuals and the host families for the duration of the hosting process.

The scheme is through the Ministry and La Caixa Foundation so if you live within the provinces of Madrid, Barcelona, Murica or Malaga and want to offer accommodation through this scheme you can look at the website HERE, call  900 67 09 09 or fill out the application form HERE

Elsewhere in Spain

If you are not within those four provinces involved in the pilot scheme organised by the Spanish government there are still other ways to offer accommodation to Ukrainian refugees but it isn’t so straightforward.

Ideally you should go through official channels so that hosts can be assessed and matched with families in need. Ask at your local town hall to see if they have a scheme and can help you get on it.

Solidarity With The People Of Ukrainian In Barcelona, Spain 27 Mar 2022
Schemes are in place across Spain. Photo: Cordon Press

Certain of Spain’s well known charities are running their own schemes within different regions of Spain and invite those with homes to offer to get in touch.

– CEAR: Andalucía (Málaga, Sevilla, Cádiz), Basque Country and Canary Islands (Gran Canaria and Tenerife).
– ACCEM: Andalucía (Córdoba), Castilla La Mancha, Castilla y León, Murcia, Asturias, Extremadura, Aragón and Galicia.
– Cruz Roja: Andalucía (Almería, Granada and Huelva), Balearic Islands, Cantabria, Catalunya, La Rioja, Madrid, Navarra and Valencia region.

Alternatively you can get in touch with EU4UA which is an EU wide initiative matching those offering accommodation with fleeing Ukrainians who need it.The website is HERE 

Via AirBnB

Those who want to offer accommodation to refugees can do so through Airbnb which has vowed to match hosts to Ukrainian refugees and provide free accommodation on a short term basis.

Find out more HERE

Fostering Ukrainian children

Infancia de Nad is a Spanish charity  based in Alicante that has for decades worked to bring troubled Ukrainian children over to Spain for holidays. It was asking for families to take in unaccompanied Ukrainian children refugees, however due to the overwhelming number of people offering homes it has currently paused applications. But you can find out other ways to help by looking at the website HERE

Expoaction does a similar thing based in Gijon in Asturias in the north of Spain. If you are in that area and want to help, check out their website HERE for more information.

Solidarity With The People Of Ukrainian In Barcelona, Spain 27 Mar 2022
A kid holds a Ukrainian flag during the demonstration in Barcelona. Photo: Cordon Press

Contact the Ukrainian Embassy direct

You can offer your assistance direct to Ukraine’s Embassy in Madrid by calling this number +34910418416

Other charities

There are many charities offering help to Ukrainians in crisis from international NGOs to local community groups. Many of them are saying they have been overwhelmed with offers of help and are slow in processing them and would rather take donations that can be channeled in the right direction.

Find out more about other ways to help in the following article:

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Ukraine flag at protest in Spain Photo: Cordon Press

A list of all local associations formed by Ukrainians across Spain can be found HERE with contact links.

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