Refugee Host Lessons

UNOFFICIAL Lessons learned by Hosts of displaced Ukrainian People in Catalonia

Source, points collected on: This form y este formulario


  • If not registering through a vetting system then you need to vet the person soliciting help. Ask for a photo of the passport.
  • Think about and discuss the points to consider.
  • Connect with other local hosts via whatsapp groups so the children have other ukrainian / russian speaking kids to play with and the parents can also be a support for each other.
  • Kids need legal guardianship, as refugees the government will handle them and official refugee charities will assist them like red cross or Achnur. It is not legal to just host a child without their legal guardian without going through official channels for safeguarding reasons. If you detect a case of a child of Ukrainian origin for which the situation of foster care needs to be regularized, you can contact the DGAIA at 116 111 or by e-mail at
  • Listing your home means you get an influx of messages everyday


  • The EU has recognised Ukrainian refugees the right to have up to an 18m visa, access to healthcare, work, school etc
  • Apply for your NIE and register as a refugee at the police station (Extranjeria , carrer Jaume 1). They only need to bring their ID or passport. The police will ask for your documents and give you a sheet which is an appointment to which they will have to present themselves with two photos; there is an interpreter there as well. This method could change a little because the police are adapting to this emergency situation.Once you have received the paper with the date of the appointment, return to the same office and identify the queue that is there for the first time, and the queue that is there for the second time for the issue of the NIE or refugee permit. They will let you in and you have to fill out a form; after fingerprints and the consequent release of a sheet with photo and NIE.
  • Apply for a medical card by clicking here: and choosing
  • Register at the local Town Hall Oficina d’Atenció Ciutadana (OAC) to make the empadronamiento (register in Catalonia), register, work permit
  • Register at the Creu Roja (Red Cross) in Carrer de Joan d’Àustria, 118, 120, 08018 Barcelona, 9am to 8pm. Or contact your local Creu Roja. There they should register with a social worker who will then be able to discuss their needs for Social welfare, psychological assistance and legal assistance and also a place to live if you are only hosting short term.
  • Register with the government social service agency as a refugee 
  • Register them at the Ukrainian consulate so their whereabouts is registered and also in case the consulate has any services to offer them.
  • If a refugee urgently needs food, a place to sleep, medicines or clothes, they can contact: From Monday to Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the Cruz Roja, calle de Joan d’Àustria, 118. After 8pm, CUESB (Barcelona Municipal Emergency and Emergency Center) You can call 900 703 030 or go directly to Calle de la Llacuna, 25
  • If you want to know the asylum and refuge procedures, you can go to: SAIER (Service for Immigrants, Emigrants and Refugees) You can call 931 532 800 or go directly to Tarragona street, 141.
  • The Spanish government has enabled a helpline for people displaced by the conflict in Ukraine, available 24 hours a day. The information service is available in Ukrainian and Spanish. Through this telephone you may also ask for an appointment at the Reception, Welcome and Referral Centers. (+34) 91 047 44 44


  • Some displaced Ukrainians are employed or entrepreneurs and need a temporary place to stay and then they will look to rent a flat. They have money and offered to pay rent, usually speak at least 2 languages, quick to look for job
  • Some displaced Ukrainians need a place but can pay their own food and expenses or even a symbolic rent.
  • Others are arriving without any means and will need help with food, shelter and travel costs
  • €300-500 to fully support in terms of food, metro cards and other miscellaneous costs.


  • Ongoing accommodation search
  • Social support and distraction
  • Metro cards or transport options
  • Legal / bureaucracy help
  • Translation services
  • Help with documentation, explaining where stores and hospital is, names of kids medicines
  • Psychological support
  • Clothes, toiletries donations
  • Language : Catalan / Spanish / English classes
  • Religious – visiting church
  • Kids activities & toys
  • Family activities – excursions
  • Adult activities – wellness, haircuts, massage
  • Technological – support on computers and phones


  • Proud and grateful, keen to help
  • Kind and discreet people, well mannered and respectful
  • Hardworking, efficient, respectful of space and home.
  • Very similar food preferences as the rest of Europe – some prefer ground meats, lots of vegetables.
  • They like simple food, not spicy. Lots of potatoes, cabbage and meat. Also buckwheat is a main staple in their diet.
  • Some do not identify as refugees, some may find it difficult to accept charity
  • Trouble sleeping, panic attacks, anxiety
  • Mainly orthodox christians, one group arrived with a nun, often making mass at the dinner table. 
  • Yoga & meditation usually isn’t welcomed by Orthodox Christians.
  • Therapy is not usual in Ukraine, it may not be a positive suggestion, possibly leading to shame or embarrassment.
  • They are not that different from Spanish girls their age. These girls were obviously raised in very good families. They contribute around the house, they have very good manners and they are just lovely to be around.
  • Hosting is a wonderful cultural experience and there is a lot to be gained by hosting, beyond being altruistic. My son loves learning new words in Ukrainian and we appreciate learning about the different traditions in their country.


Please register to host on the links on this page