Support for Ukrainian and Russian students
In the short term DUWO accepts that, due to the war in Ukraine and the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia as a result, payments from account holders of banks based in those countries may not be possible or may be difficult to make. DUWO therefore anticipates that difficulties may be experienced by tenants from Russia and Ukraine in making rent payments. DUWO would like to offer these students the option of a scheduled payment arrangement in order to avoid financial problems and ease their primary needs.
The government is currently making emergency funds available to support those affected in the longer term, and it is now important for the involved parties to establish what funds will become available, when and where, so that they can then be accessed to provide continued support to affected students.
Additional temporary units
Within this context, DUWO intends to start discussions with the educational institutions in order to discuss how best to accommodate students from the relevant countries who may be unable to return home (at the end of the semester). In addition, there will undoubtedly be students among the many refugees who will want to continue their studies here, or those who may wish to take a study course here. There are already educational institutions that offer refugees the opportunity of studying within their institutional facilities. Through consultation, we will establish how such accommodation can be organised, either from the existing stock of student accommodation or by creating additional accommodation.
However, the current crisis not only affects students from those countries involved. Help and support from national and local governments, organisations and citizens is needed on many fronts. DUWO would like to contribute. For example, DUWO is consulting with municipalities to see whether it is possible to quickly and easily add temporarily units at certain DUWO locations to accommodate refugees. Preferably with the potential to convert them into student units after being temporarily used to house refugees. However, DUWO must acknowledge that our expertise primarily lies in the area of student housing.
Municipality organises children's programme in Griffioen
One DUWO property is already in use: the municipality of Amstelveen is renting the former De Griffioen cultural centre on the Uilenstede campus, to offer Ukrainian children a programme of activities. The municipality is organising a programme of sports, language, drama and music for two age groups in the centre: 6-12 years and 12-18 years. Additional educational programming is also being considered.