New community map helps Ukrainian refugees navigate new country
Over 270,000 refugees, mainly women and children, have fled to the Czech Republic as a result of the ongoing Russian war on Ukraine. To help them find their way around a new country, a group of IT experts have created a community map showing all the important places and services the refugees might find useful in Czechia.
I discussed the U-Map with its marketing coordinator Tereza Vaisová from the platform Česko.Digital:
“Česko.Digital focuses on helping through the IT and since the Russian Ukrainian conflict started to escalate we started to research the possibilities of helping people fleeing Ukraine to find new homes and other useful places.
“We joined forces (not for the first time) with the start-up Mapotic and we considered several projects that eventually emerged into maps. The first one is the Umapa or U-Map and the second one is a map that is monitoring the Ukrainian border crossings.”
What kind of information can be found there and who provides you with the data?
“Umapa is a long term project. We have designed it to facilitate the integration of people coming Ukrainian and to help them discover their new home quickly and more comfortably.
“We decided to focus on places, institutions and services that offer mainly long-term help. We are integrating data and services from places and institutions such as doctors, legal and psychological help, kindergartens accepting Ukrainian speaking children.
“Users can easily filter the information by specific services or places what they are looking for. We are not interested in short-term things like accommodation. The aim of the map is to integrate the people as easily as possible and make them feel comfortable and welcome.”
“You can also suggest new places as a user or you can also add new places if you offer to help. Via the website, institutions and services can easily add and pin their address and services. They can also add information such as opening hours, languages, and so on.”
So in order to use the map, you simply need a smart phone or a computer.
“Yes, that’s right.”
And I understand the map is available in Ukrainian.
“Yes, the map is now available in Ukrainian, Czech and English. We are also working on other language versions. It currently works for the territory of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland but we are working on extensions to other countries because we have many volunteering communities in other countries that want to connect and want to also provide their institutions and data. We are connecting dozens of places every day in different countries and regions.”
How many places does the map contain here in the Czech Republic?
“I think it should be around 1,500.”
War in Ukraine
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