Video: Denise Garcia Bergt

Four weeks in to this war

and around 2 million refugees have fled Ukraine

and entered Europe fairly orderly

A day after the invasion,

there were already reception centres set up

on the border with Ukraine

facilitated by Poland’s government.

Poland! That in 2015 refused to take in refugees!

All of the sudden European countries

seemed prepared to welcome refugees

from the very start.

Germany is also behaving exemplary

More than 200 thousand refugees from Ukraine

have crossed the friendliest borders

Using the Deutsche Bahn especially-fast-created

“HelpUkraine tickets”

so that refugees can travel safe and for free

Telephone company providers

also offer their services free of charge

Calls for donations of goods and money

are available in every physical or virtual corner

Germans selflessly take in people

seeking protection to their homes

Volunteers can be seen in various train stations

ready to help and explain

the next steps of life in Germany

The Foreign office website was never so competent

In days they managed to make all information available

in different languages!

And sometimes even written in an emotional tone.

They inform that Ukrainian refugees

can apply for temporary asylum,

obtain legal permission to work,

access to social services like healthcare

and education for up to three years.

In 2015 when 1 million refugees came from outside Europe

the situation was described as a crisis,

it was considered unprecedented

something impossible to deal with!

Fact is Europeans think differently of ukraine refugees

Many say and I quote: “Look, Ukrainians are like us,

they have blonde hair, blue eyes,

they drive the same car as we do,

they are educated.”

And that is why we have been seeing

Racism at the borders!

Racism and discrimination against

Black and people of colour

fleeing Ukraine, being it students

or undocumented people,

It is still not clear if they ALSO can access all these services!

To what we can say:

They are human beings too!

They are fleeing the same bombs!

Make no mistake: We, the International women Space,

are not here to criticise the response to Ukraine

or any of these measures

On the contrary: that is exactly what we fight for:

A FAIR, HUMAN, JUST SYSTEM

OF WELCOMING REFUGEES

Where all asylum seekers

including those coming from outside Europe

have the universally recognised

right to seek asylum in Europe.