From our partners ENSIE

ENSIE condemns the Russian violence in Ukraine and deeply sympathize with Ukraine and its residents. The current conflict will be affecting the world’s equilibrium for a long time ahead and unfortunately, we don’t know yet when it will end nor its consequences.

Despite this, ENSIE and its members would like to underline the widespread solidarity movement, that materialised  all over Europe, in support of Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees. More than 5 million Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Europe so far, according to UNHCR.  Each country organised its support, through actions led by NGOs, populations and governments. In this movement, the social economy sector and Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISEs), have been active both to help Ukrainians refugees settle in Europe and to provide direct help to those staying behind in Ukraine. Once more, the WISEs sector demonstrates, through its involvement in the crisis, its capacity and readiness to support and help those who need it the most.

Their actions have been diverse, depending on the country, their proximity to Ukraine and the capacity the local actors. Their actions took the following forms:

  • Providing jobs in WISEs for Ukrainian refugees.
  • Hosting and feeding Ukrainian refugees.
  • Collecting and sending direct aid to Ukraine.
  • Supporting the settlement of refugees with, for example donation of second-hand furniture and clothes.
  • Providing psychological support to refugees.
  • Collecting donations.
  • Donation commitment on sales %.

In some countries, these actions were supported by national, regional and local authorities, through funding, organisation and coordination. To check a more exhaustive list of the actions and needs, please consult ENSIE’s website.

Beyond immediate support, WISEs, as actors of social and labour market integration, can have a leading role to facilitate the settlement of Ukrainian refugees for the middle or long term by supporting their integration in national labour markets, regardless of their qualification. This can help them settle in a new country and give them the time to learn the language and/or to wait for their diploma equivalence to be certified, if necessary. The crucial role of the WISEs has been encouraged in France and Latvia as both governments have acknowledged Ukrainian refugees as a target group for WISEs and social enterprises, allowing both of them to receive the same benefits as for other target groups. ENSIE and its members are calling to generalise this recognition among all countries and to provide support via dedicated funding through, notably, the European Social Fund +.

To reinforce these actions, it is necessary for public authorities to also provide dedicated funding for translation and language courses.  Further financial support would be welcome for most affected countries, such as Moldova which is currently receiving a refugee influx from Ukraine of 425,227 people (April 2022). This support could come in the form of the postponement of VAT payments and income tax for WISEs.

ENSIE and its members take this opportunity to remind that to face crises it is necessary to improve the overall structural support to NGOs and social economy organisations, especially concerning work integration and the support for migrants.

You can find more about ENSIE’s members and their members actions to support Ukraine and Ukrainians on ENSIE’s website.

WISEs actions
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