New map helps Ukrainian refugees find free accommodation and jobs

For the Ukrainian war refugees newly arrived in Czechia, finding long-term housing, work or a school for their children is becoming increasingly difficult. A new map by the NGO People in Need and Charles University’s Faculty of Sciences wants to make this process easier by highlighting which regions or cities have already reached their capacity limits and which are ready to accept more refugees.

I discussed the details with Milan Votypka, People in Need’s media coordinator for Ukraine:

“This map works with five main indicators, which include accommodation, the number of refugees in respective region or city, places in schools, socio-economic status of the region and job opportunities in each and every region.”

So how exactly does it work?

“We started to collect information from all the respective authorities around the Czech Republic, I mean the Ministry of Interior, Education, Social Affairs and Labour, as well as from local authorities, and we put the information together.

“And it actually shows which cities still have capacities to accept children in schools, where there are job opportunities and free accommodation with respect to the socio-economic status of the region.”

Who is this map intended for? Is it intended directly for the refugees?

Milan Votypka | Photo: archive of Uprchlíci vítejte

“It actually shows that out of the ten biggest cities in the Czech Republic, two of them – Pilsen and Karlovy Vary – have already reached their capacity. Other locations, such as Moravia and Brno, still have some space to accept more people.

“The other thing it shows is that the border regions are reaching their capacity limits. Most of the people who are staying there will have to leave by the end of May because they are staying in tourist accommodation and the owners of these residencies will need it for their businesses. These are the two main things that we can see in the map right now.”

Do you think the map could actually motivate these people to relocate to some of the less busy regions?

“In our opinion, it must be always done in cooperation with local authorities. Of course we can’t force people to move where they don’t want to go. But in this map you can see that if you live for example in Pilsen, you don’t have to move very far away to another part of the country, you can just move a couple of kilometres from the place you already live. So this is about the cooperation between refugees and local authorities.”