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A ‘field’ kindergarten to open at a refugee tent camp in Sevastopol

July 27, 2014, 3:40 UTC+3 SEVASTOPOL

The refugee camp is located on a football field of an unfinished children’s stadium

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SEVASTOPOL, July 27, 3:17 /ITAR-TASS/. A “field” kindergarten for the children of refugees from Ukraine’s Donbas region will open in the territory of a refugee tent camp in Sevastopol. The refugee women will have a chance to work as day-care assistants, Sevastopol’s acting governor, Sergei Menyailo, said during his recent visit to the camp.

The refugee camp is located on a football field of an unfinished children’s stadium. It has 604 people. Because of summer heat, the city authorities have resettled invalids as well as old and sick people to the buildings of two boarding schools that are empty in summer.

Finding a job is the main problem in the refugee camp. Despite a long list of vacancies, only 20 refugees have found official employment so far. Sevastopol needs waiters, drivers, yard-keepers, nurses and qualified workers.

One of the reasons why these occupations are not attractive to the refugees is that the camp has 184 children half of whom are of pre-school age. Their mothers would like to find a job but they have no one to look after their children. A special play tent has been set up for the kids but that is not enough. The refugee women asked the acting governor to help them with a kindergarten. There are no pre-school children’s institutions in a neighborhood where the camp is located. “We can organize a field kindergarten where refugee women could work as day-care assistants initially as volunteers. Later, we will try to create full-time jobs,” Sergei Menyailo told the refugee mothers.

A field school can start working in the camp by September if the situation in the Donbas region does not come back to normal by autumn. The idea suits many mothers but not all.

For example, Olga Chebitko, who used to work as a day-care assistant in a kindergarten, wants to take her daughter to the town of Artyom in the Far East by the start of the academic year. She has read in the Internet that they need people there.

“If you ask me, I am ready to go to Irkutsk, the Primorye region or Buryatia. But for now I am living for my grandson. His dream to become a sailor may come true in the Far East. I do not see a future for my children in Ukraine,” Olga said.

“We are trying to solve this problem with the leaders of regions that are accepting refugees. We honestly tell refugees that they will not be sent to Moscow or St. Petersburg. But there are regions that are ready to provide employment and housing for them. So far, 47 refugees staying in Sevastopol have accepted this proposal. The city authorities have arranged a flight to Moscow for these people. From there, they will have to travel to their final destinations themselves. A total of 240 refugees who have arrived in Sevastopol are ready to go to other parts of Russia.

The wives of people’s militias who are fighting for the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics will soon get access to Wi-Fi that is going to be installed in the camp. Skype is the only opportunity for them to get in touch with their warring husbands.

Ukrainian refugees faced another problem in Sevastopol. Owners of passenger boats disobeyed the orders of the city authorities and introduced fares for refugees going to the Federal Migration Service. One call to the port administration by acting governor Sergei Menyailo was enough to solve the problem. Besides, Menyailo promised that Federal Migration Service employees will come to the camp on a daily basis to issue papers to the refugees.

Meanwhile, Russian regions have transferred more than 27 million roubles (768, 582 U.S. dollars) to a special account opened by a Crimean Fund, which supports refugees from southeast Ukraine who have found shelter in Crimea, the Fund’s executive director, Yekaterina Kazachenko, told a news conference held at the CrimeaInform news agency on July 25.

She said that all regions and territories of Russia were offering help. “Huge help is coming from Ingushetia,” Kazachenko stressed.

Irina Klyuyeva, the head of the Crimean State Council (parliament) Committee for Refugees, said that the deputies had asked Crimean entrepreneurs for help.

“The State Council has asked the commission for entrepreneurship to ask (the local) businessmen to render material or financial assistance or simply help with goods, which they produce,” Klyuyeva said.

According to Crimean Vice-Premier Ingmar Levchik, more than 4,000 out of 7,000 refugees staying in the peninsula are displaced persons registered by the Russian Federal Migration Service.

“People are looking for a new life in a stable state. About 250-300 people arrive in Crimea every day,” Levchik said.

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