Ukrainian refugees who have settled in Eindhoven face an uncertain future. They hope to return to their homeland soon, but are taking a long stay into account. Thanks to a helpful Dutch society, they manage quite well to pick up the thread here, as one young family experiences.
The three of them came over from Kiev last week: Anton, girlfriend Julia and one-and-a- half-year-old son Martin. “It became too dangerous to stay there”, Anton says. “And so we left for the Netherlands”.
Days later, the family has settled in Microlab; the former Philips building at Strijp S, which has been in use as an intake office and first reception location for a few weeks now. From here, the refugees move on to places in the region where they can stay longer. “We did not know much about the Netherlands and Eindhoven and therefore we did not know what to expect”, Anton continues. “That made us nervous. But we are well taken care of, here. We feel welcome and safe”.
The warm reception is also acknowledged by Thijs Eradus of care organisation Springplank040. “There is a lot of solidarity, a lot of enthusiasm to help and to lend a hand. The refugees notice that too. They feel supported and want to get to work quickly”.
The journey to the Netherlands did not go entirely smoothly for the family. Mother and daughter did not meet Anton at the Polish border. Julia: “Anton had already travelled ahead and we would see each other again there. In the end we found each other again in Krakow and from there we came to the Netherlands. What the future holds is still uncertain. Anton hopes to be able to return in a month. “But I am well aware that it could well take much longer”.
Anton has therefore started looking for work, so that he can earn some money and make himself useful. “Possibly I can work as a designer here”, he gloats. “I am also learning English. Because there is no guarantee that I will be able to work immediately when we come back to Ukraine”.
Translated by: Bob