Emergency aid in Switzerland
The longer the war drags on in Ukraine, the more the focus of Ukrainians who have fled here will shift from the pressing issues of protection and shelter to the need for future prospects, social belonging and the resumption of work or education. HEKS/EPER is assisting refugees from Ukraine through various schemes to facilitate their social and professional integration.
Understanding and being understood
Through the HEKS/EPER integration and language courses Ukrainian children and adults around Switzerland acquire not just proficiency in the German and French languages, but also useful information about life in Switzerland.
Trained intercultural interpreters from "HEKS/EPER Linguadukt" are on hand to serve as linguistic and cultural intermediaries in conversations between professionals and Ukrainian refugees. They ease communication between Ukrainians and professionals in many key situations in daily life: at hospitals, schools, advice centres, or the social welfare office.
Arriving and finding their bearings
The HEKS/EPER coordination office “Flucht und Ankommen Basel-Landschaft" informs displaced people arriving from Ukraine about helpful support services, and puts them in touch with support persons, institutions and church parishes in the Canton of Basel Landschaft.
Under the "HEKS Brückenbauer:innen" (HEKS/EPER Bridge Builders) programme, intercultural mediators also advise Ukrainian families in Basel-Stadt on various aspects of in everyday family life and inform them about the local education, health and social system.
The services available under the HEKS/EPER AltuM – Age and Migration programme are also open to Ukrainian refugees 50 years and over, and offer them social interaction, as well as access to information. This helps them better learn about their new place of residence and find their bearings more easily in their new living environment.
Developing job prospects
As regards job market integration, HEKS/EPER MosaiQ staff advise and assist well-qualified Ukrainians in assessing their personal situation, in having their qualifications recognised and in planning the next steps on their way to professional integration. The aim is for well-qualified Ukrainians to find a job or develop professional prospects in Switzerland in line with their skills and interests, so that they can contribute to and participate in Swiss society to their full potential.
Applying for protection and clarifying legal issues
The HEKS/EPER legal advice centres remain open to all refugees, whether from Ukraine or other countries of origin. They offer information and counselling about the asylum procedure, legal issues relating to their residence status and integration, support or assistance in the event of problems with authorities and institutions. The staff of the HEKS/EPER Legal Protection Service also provide ongoing support for newly arriving Ukrainians in submitting their applications for protection, and also furnish crucial initial information at the Federal Asylum Centres in eastern Switzerland (Altstätten) and north-western Switzerland (Basel).
Last Update: December 2023