Knowing the language of the country you live in means feeling safe, being able to communicate your needs and integrate into society easier. The refugees from Ukraine know this truth very well and try to learn the Romanian language as quickly as possible. In the Safe Spaces organized by the UN Population Fund program, the Romanian language is taught from beginning to end, and the courses are free for all those who need it.
Ivan Braliov, an almost 13-year-old teenager, who has just graduated from the Romanian language course taught in SafeSpace at the “Moldexpo” temporary placement center for refugees.
Together with Ivan, dozens of refugees from Ukraine, including his aunt, are studying Romanian here. Nadejda worked for several years as an engineer, and now she had to leave her home and come to Moldova. She says that she has never been to our country before and is impressed by the kindness of the people and the culture of the country.
SafeSpace is part of UNFPA’s program to respond to the refugee crisis and prevent gender-based violence. The purpose of safe spaces is to provide a protective environment for refugees in the Republic of Moldova and to contribute to social cohesion between refugees and host communities. In addition to basic services for refugees, UNFPA has also launched Romanian language study programs here to facilitate their inclusion. Until July of this year, UNFPA created 16 static Safe Spaces and four mobile #SafeSpaces throughout the country.
UNFPA has expanded the model of static Safe Space teams to a mobile model to ensure access to services for the most vulnerable groups of refugees, but also to reach the most remote communities in our country to provide support to refugees and the local population. Mobile services are offered in localities with a high concentration of refugees and a low presence of specialized services, with the aim of promoting the safety and empowerment of the target groups.