The unprecedented mobilization and solidarity of the civil society in countries surrounding Ukraine after the 2022 Russian invasion enabled the rapid reception and, later on, the integration of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ukraine. The role of CSOs, in particular those led by the Ukrainian or Roma communities, was immense, as they became key actors in the response.
Expanding on the themes explored in the panel Local humanitarian responses to Ukrainian refugees – the case of Eastern Europe, this roundtable will focus on some of the lessons emerging from CSOs after 18 months of working on the frontline. It will look at how the experience of being involved in the emergency response has transformed migrant-led and minority-oriented organisations and small NGOs – exploring challenges around scaling organisational capacities, professionalization, and working closely with vulnerable groups, such as Roma, LGBTI+ or elderlies.
The discussion will also focus on the long-term effects the humanitarian crisis has had on civil society organizations, their leaders and staff, including mental health capacities, ‘the direct and indirect exposure to suffering’ and ‘minority pressure’, or even counteracting ‘humanitarian fatigue’ and financial uncertainty.
Elisa Sandri, Sarian Jarosz