Since March, on the border with Ukraine, through mobile clinics, INTERSOS has offered medical support and protection to people fleeing the war
On March 3, following the start of the conflict in Ukraine, INTERSOS activated mobile clinics to assist the massive influx of refugees entering Moldova, initially at the country’s southeastern border, in Palanca and Tudora, with an operational office in the capital Chisinau. In the following months, because of the stabilization of the number of refugees arriving, we reshaped activities to help local communities welcome and integrate refugees. Due to the geographic spread of the displaced population from Ukraine, INTERSOS extended its activities through four new health and protection projects to the central districts of Chișinău, Orhei, Călărași, Fălești, Hîncești, Strășeni, and Ungheni, to the northern districts of Edinet and Drochia, and the southern districts of Căușeni and Ștefan Voda.
Thanks to the support of the Stichting Vluchteling Foundation (SV) of the German Foreign Ministry (GFFO) and the NGO Action Medeor, we offer basic health support and refer complex cases to specialised centres. Moreover, we promote healthy practices such as vaccination in marginalised communities, especially the Ukrainian Roma refugee community in Moldova. Activities take place in reception centres in Chisinau in the south of the country and at the Bus Hub in Palanca, while with mobile clinics we reach food distribution centres in the capital. In addition, we conducted training sessions targeting staff on stress management, burn-out prevention, and psychological first aid brought to refugees arriving in the country.
Moreover, together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the European Union, we work on the protection of the most vulnerable. The UNHCR-supported project focuses on psychosocial support for newcomers from Ukraine through a team of protection experts, psychologists, social workers, and cultural mediators at the Bus Hub in Palanca and community centres in central Moldova. Since May, we have also been operating in districts in central Moldova through a partnership with Casa Mărioarei, a Moldovan NGO specialising in working with survivors of gender-based violence and domestic violence, in refugee protection, and integration activities in host communities and community outreach, with whom we work closely to establish trusting relationships with the people we help.
Together with the European Union, however, we provide information regarding services available to refugees, distribute non-food items to them, and offer psychosocial support to adult and child refugees. The goal is to promote psychosocial well-being, prevent mental health problems, and manage them if they arise. Mobile teams reach out to individuals, families, and communities throughout the country and offer individual and group psychological sessions and activities to focus on psychological and social needs. In addition to this, we conduct capacity-building training targeting professionals from the medical and social sectors. Protection and psychological support activities are crucial elements of INTERSOS’ intervention in Moldova. We operate in several shelters nationwide through psychologists, social workers, and cultural mediators in Chisinau and other districts nationwide. We reach adults and children trying to alleviate their suffering and build a more peaceful future.