March 30, 2022 – Portuguese startup European Speak is ready to help Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in the country to learn Croatian.
As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the European startup Speak, founded in Portugal to support the social inclusion of migrants and refugees, has launched the international platform “SPEAK For Ukraine” for the integration of Ukrainian refugees across Europe.
The platform connects refugees, volunteers and organizations with the aim of integrating Ukrainian refugees as quickly as possible, in particular by offering emotional support groups and the framework for learning local languages, including learning of the Croatian language.
It is a company that, since its inception in 2014, has created a community of more than 50,000 people in 23 cities, including more than 500 Ukrainians across Europe, and “SPEAK For Ukraine” was launched on March 12 , barely 16 days after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, in cooperation with the Representation of the European Commission in Portugal.
Free and easy access
This platform connects volunteers with organizations and people who need help to break down language barriers and create an informal support network, and in the first few days alone hundreds of applications have been registered. through it in more than 60 cities around the world.
The platform can also be used by volunteers and refugees in Croatia, where there are currently around 9,000 displaced people from Ukraine. According to Speak, the platform will allow refugees from Ukraine to have free and easy access to language groups, where they can learn the language of their host country, as well as emotional support groups, to help them , themselves and their families, to integrate into their new communities. .
The platform enables volunteers to organize language learning groups, translation and interpretation services from Ukrainian or Russian into many other languages, and helps various organizations guide refugees.
”Through “SPEAK for Ukraine”, we want to complement the work that Speak is already developing with the aim of integrating refugees and migrants on the issue of language barriers in different cities around the world. With this platform, we have created an integration solution not only at the individual level, but also at the family level. This way, we assure families that they can overcome language barriers and build an informal support network in their host country, expanding our community to countries where Speak is not yet actively present.
At the same time, we strive to ensure that organizations across Europe working with refugees at SPEAK For Ukraine find all the language and integration support they need,” says Hugo Menino Aguiar, co -founder and CEO of Speak.
A concrete opportunity
In addition to the language barrier, SPEAK For Ukraine also responds to more urgent communication needs, by activating an international network of translators and interpreters, and to psychological support needs for those who have fled the war in Ukraine.
Sofia Moreira de Sousa, Head of the EC Delegation in Portugal, stresses that learning the local language, developing personal relationships and creating a support network are essential for true integration.
“We just noticed it. The European Commission is working tirelessly on several fronts to end this terrible war, deal with its consequences and protect those seeking refuge in the EU. The cooperation with SPEAK For Ukraine gives us a concrete opportunity to do volunteer work and a possibility to support people who are starting from scratch,” said Moreira de Sousa.
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