Foreign environment, language, alphabet and different culture. These barriers stand in the way of Ukrainian refugees who wish to settle in the Czech Republic for the long term. But how to prevent social exclusion, the formation of socially isolated communities or even hostility? The problem is significant, as there are currently more than 600 000 Ukrainians living in the Czech Republic.
We believe that we can break down these barriers with the help of the integration project.** **UMAPA is (not only) a mapping application that was created in conjunction with the Mapotic project as an immediate response to the start of the war in Ukraine in March 2022.
Initially, it showed, for example, the current workload at border crossings. But it has gradually transformed into a service that serves as a "compass in the new world". A service and a tool that facilitates integration and helps people to find their way around, finding the services, contacts and activities they need for a long, fulfilling and happy life in a new country.
UMAPA is available as a web and mobile app (Android and iOS) and works in 3 languages. Anyone can add new places to the map. The project has several partners - MístoVeŠkole, MVČR, Help Ukraine, Blesk - who have embedded UMAPA data on their website.
What are we currently aiming for?#
- Increase the awareness of the service and with it the (regular) and long-term traffic to the app.
- To make UMAPA a tool that will be an important platform for the integration and communication of Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic.
- Set up adequate communication to the target groups: refugees and organisations active in integration.
- Initiate other volunteers, nonprofits, clubs and the community to (more actively) create content that can add more places.
- To connect with the non-profit segment, which is in charge of thematic services, and thus offer an opportunity for visibility of their information and activities.
- Offer the same opportunity for cooperation to integration centres, service providers, volunteers, associations or state organisations.
- Leave the management of the whole project to an organisation that has been dealing with the problem for a long time.
How do we want to achieve this?#
We see it as essential to link the integration project with platforms and partners. This is preceded by in-depth monitoring and identification of the needs of the target groups. This is in order to make the content of UMAPA as responsive as possible to the target groups. We want to continue building and expanding the content. We are equally keen to involve the community, associations and non-profit organizations in its creation.
And what do the volunteers who have already been involved have to say?#
Tereza Vaisová - marketing coordinator of the project: "I am very happy and proud to be part of such a great community. What is being created under everyone's hands, at the pace at which all the projects are going now, is unreal! I finally feel like I can do enough to help in what's going on in the world."
Monika Pavlovičová - illustrator and graphic designer of the project: "It's great that projects like this are being created! Having the opportunity to get involved and help is important to me, and thanks to this community it's also an experience - I never cease to be amazed how it's possible to organize and complete so many useful projects at once. Hats off to Česko.Digital, you are full of great people."