Help refugees while investing into a sustainable future
One of the groups is Nedobjael, with its “Don’t throw it away” approach. This was co-founded by Human Resources Executive Gábor Székely and Jasmine Irving, an enterprising student at the American International School of Budapest. Nebodjael operates on the principle that someone’s trash is another’s treasure – don’t throw out what can still be used, rather give it away for free and thus save time, money and the Earth’s resources.
Mainly clothes but also bags, toys strollers and other child equipment, CDs, books, towels, home and kitchen items and even a digital satellite receiver can be seen at www.nedobjael.hu. Discarded and donated items can be passed on, and tablets and iPads are urgently needed.
Nedobjael’s partner organisation is Ukraine Refugee Aid in Hungary, founded by missionaries including Amanda Rottenhoffer, several foreign nationals and others, and which has a Facebook page at https://m.facebook.com/groups/1098902173986115/. This is a private group for those who are willing to donate goods to the Ukrainian refugees as well as offer volunteer services.
The two initiatives deliver on-the-spot attention to those in need while promoting awareness by offering general help and advice to their donors and followers. They welcome refugees and local helpers alike into their communities to come together for the common good. Advice could be, for instance, on the latest European Union regulations, how to get by on public transport, job offers and so on.
Nedobjael has a drop centre in District II and Ukraine Refugee Aid in Districts VII and XI, by appointment. Items are delivered by volunteers wherever needed around the city and beyond. Nedobjael is setting up a courier service to collect items directly from people with transport difficulties.
Ukraine Refugee Aid can connect refugees to hosts offering free accommodation, even if it is only a spare room in a humble abode, or can assist if someone wants simply to offer friendship and comfort to these traumatised people, many of whom have lost everything to Russian bombardment.
Even if you think there is nothing redeemable in your attic, a broken chair with rusty springs and moth-eaten cushion may still be able to be spruced up, if not by the donor then by someone within the groups.
Nedobjael in Hungary is a franchisee of the international non-profit Czech Republic organisation Nevyhazujto. This was founded in Prague 10 years ago and has been a success with the Czech population. Tünde Bitter, Community Liason at Nedobjael, says: “Over 70,000 items in the Czech Republic have been spared from being discarded in landfills and instead were claimed by people in need.” They are expanding Europe-wide and will be launching in the US soon.
This simple but effective operation is now working with local governments. “Re-use” points in landfills are being set up, even within inner cities, and companies are encouraged to set up sub-portals on their websites where management and employees can offer redundant office stock and general home goods to one another.
Other support efforts are springing up. LEXITUP.law’s Co-Managing Director Ellen Hayes is working in collaboration with Zsofia Olah, an employment lawyer at leading Hungarian law firm OPL in Budapest, on Olah’s idea to set up a new walk-in support clinic (possibly several) to provide on-the-spot free legal advice for displaced Ukrainians. This could cover advice such as immigration, employment, Hungarian state benefits and how to create a CV.
The clinic will be staffed by volunteer lawyers, recruiters and personal coaches, and premises are being sought. The initiative is supported by Central European University and the Ukrainian Cultural Center.
While for now the real focus is on Ukrainians in need, when the war ends the organisers intend to reconsider the environment again. Why abandon something when it deserves a second chance? The potential for recycling can be limitless, fun and very worthwhile when one knows how.
Finally, despite the precariousness of today’s times, support for these newfound friends is important. The spirit of the post-1989 world will live on if we follow the example of the brave Ukrainians.
For those interested in charity work or possibly taking on a professional internship scheme, and wish to apply, check the links above for Nedobjael and Ukraine Refugee Aid in Hungary. There is still much to do, and any help, large or small, is always most welcome.