In February 2022, the Russian Federation initiated unprovoked military operations in Ukraine. Since then, residents have been submitted to indiscriminate attacks and forced to flee the country searching for shelter and safety. To help manage the arrival of Ukrainian residents fleeing the war, various Member States mobilised resources to support refugees upon arrival. Dopomoha is a platform that presents relevant information on documentation and services, assisting all refugees entering Romania.
Dopomoha was created by the non-profit organisation Code for Romania in partnership with the Department of Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the UN Refugee Agency, the International Organization for Migration, the Romanian National Council for Refugees. The platform, named after the Ukrainian word for “help”, aggregates a comprehensive list of information for asylum seekers on the procedures, rights and further resources to ensure the safety and ease their resettlement. The platform is available in Ukrainian, Romanian, English and Russian.
The main feature of the website is the Emergency Support Platform, an integrated resource management system for the request or offering of services and goods. Asylum seekers can use the online contact form that will be connected with individuals or organisations that will address their enquiries and Romanian residents who wish to provide support can also find a map of the nearest centres and contact persons to reach out to. The website also directs visitors to A Roof, an open source platform for searching and listing of available accommodation, managed by the National Centre for Coordination and Management of Intervention (CNCCI).
The solution, available as open source under the MPL-2.0 license, had its earliest repository commit on 24 February 2022, two days following the Russian invasion. Thanks to the fast mobilisation of the Code for Romania War Task Force and the volunteers who joined the project, the solution was ready one week after the repository was created. The task force, that previously worked to address citizens’ concerns during the COVID-19 crisis, is Code for Romania’s mechanism that uses maximum effort to quickly deliver digital solutions to support intervention teams and help the communication between authorities and citizens.
Code for Romania has ceased all normal activities since February 24, shifting their efforts towards the War Task Force and community of over 2 700 volunteers engaged on the various emergency-focused solutions. The organisation commits to keep the resources available in Dopomoha constantly updated, to ensure that the right support is provided in the shortest time.