On June 20, Ukraine celebrated World Refugee Day. Actually, there were no celebrations as such as this delicate and not simple subject especially in conditions of Transcarpathia, where border guards block the road to the next “portion” of illegal migrants storming the border almost every week …
Temporary Holding Facility in Transcarpathia is presented by the corpuses – in Mukachevo and Perechyn. There are 56 persons hold there altogether, who claim to get refugee status, among them there are 29 children including 5 teenagers.
Recently, in the frames of joint project of Uzhgorod press-club and Danish Refugee Council “Ukraine is my second motherland” a holiday was organized for children residing in Mukachevo shelter with the performances of clowns, master-classes, soap bubbles show, and concert. Children, of course, were glad, but on the whole not all the residents of THF are ready to support the slogan of the project not concealing their wish to see EU countries as their second motherland (most often – Germany).
Each of local inhabitants has own tragic story though many of them are no inclined to believe them till the end (truthfulness of which, of course, is impossible to believe) can influence upon the resident of the shelter to get refugee status and be able whenever to find himself in EU or the USA.
For example, smiling 17-year-old boy Marufiy Said Murtaza told that his family was proposed to cross the border to Slovakia for $ 5000 for each person, for $10 000 smugglers can take illegal migrants to Germany. All family of Marufiy consists of 8 persons that is why it is rather expensive trip to get to cherished Europe! His family moved from Afghanistan to Pakistan and lived there not bad until his father was killed. His mother did not want to return from disquieted Pakistan to less calm Afghanistan, thus she chose a risky way: she took children, they arrived to Moscow, then to Odessa and after that they got to Mukachevo. These journeys have been lasting already for three years. During this time, Maruf learned not bad Russian. In general, living conditions in the centre are good. They say that sometimes they even can earn some money at part-time jobs.
Iranian star of Transcarpathian football
Deputy director of THF Petr Rosola explains: no documents for refugees are produced here, they are just hold here. The government allots 15 UAH per day for one person – it is enough for people to maintain themselves. There is no single dining room for everybody because refugees coming here arrive from different countries and they used to different food. Local residents can freely leave the centre, but they have to come back before 11 p.m..
Some of them find part-time jobs. The main obstacle is the absence of language knowledge. “We had negotiations with the board of Mukchevo factory “Flextronics” – Petr Rosola tells, – and were promised to employ new people, our clients can also get job there. It is very important for them. Probably, they stop to break the border if they will have jobs.
Some of the resident of the centre have really decided to stay in Ukraine. For example, a family from Syria has lived in Mukachevo since 2007. They cannot get document proving their status so far, but they lose their hopes. The youngest member of the family 16-year-old Falka is hardly distinguished from local residents. She attends school and speaks perfect Russian and Ukrainian, she has never heard any offensive words towards herself.
Iranian Murteze Validze also feels himself comfortably in Ukraine, who is called Denis in the shelter. The boy arrived to Kyiv for studies three years ago, however he decided to go further – to Germany. After unlucky cross of the border in Mukachevo, Iranian “Denis” showed outstanding results in football. Not long ago he was invited to football club “Meteor” of the village Pystryalova. Now he is a local “star”: infrequent match of the team is always accompanied by the goal of Murteza. The boy is so happy to have life as now that he even does not want to think about leaving Ukraine.
One more talent of the centre is deaf-and dumb spouses from Afghanistan. The husband and wife explained that their defect appeared in a result of contusion during the bombing. It is impossible to learn if it is true, however the woman from this family makes beautiful things from beads, leather, velvet.
Under-age persons have the hardest life in the centre of all, who fled their country without parents. Now, there 5 such persons in Mukachevo, namely from Somalia. Many “illegal” children were born already in Ukraine, particularly in 2007 in Mukachevo maternity house there were 13 babies and 1 pregnant woman lives here now.