Today the IGSU called a meeting of all of the NGO coordinators, as well as state authorities together at the command center in Siret. The Colonel expressed great appreciation, admiration and respect for the involvement of all of the volunteers, colleagues and aid agencies in their efforts to receive the refugees well. He especially underlined the importance of teamwork, coordination and hospitality in receiving the refugees.
In terms of teamwork and coordination, he introduced Karl Andersson’s role in providing a coordination point and online resource for the NGOs with information about each agency – who, where and what as well as news updates.
Regarding hospitality, he explained how before rushing refugees towards transportation, they must first be properly received. As many have been even days waiting to cross the border, and in a hyper-stressed state not eating or drinking properly, very cold from staying in unheated places, etc. The first needs to address are physiologic – to ask the person, how are you, are you hungry, come and warm up, have something hot to drink or eat. Helping them to relax physically and giving them your full attention, maintaining eye-contact even during translation and without distractions is important. He also emphasized that it is important that translators are using the same approach and helping to build the trust in the authorities. That rushing people or pulling them in different directions when the authorities are trying to build trust and make sure that their basic needs are met can be counterproductive.
Overall he expressed a lot of satisfaction with the teamwork present.