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Blue Dot, the first response to the most urgent needs of Ukrainian refugees

Blue Dot, the first response to the most urgent needs of Ukrainian refugees

The story of our support for UNHCR in the reception center for Ukrainian refugees at the border crossing in Tarvisio.


What is it like to run away from home? And see with your own eyes that your everyday reality is now a warzone?

It is not easy to tell, but seeing the first aid of UNHCR, the UN Agency for Refugees, on the Italian borders makes it clear that every first aid action for these people is a glimmer of humanity that gives them hope again.

The Blue Dots are reception points activated by UNHCR, together with UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, with our support and a fundraiser by Enel colleagues: support spaces for Ukrainian refugees, mainly women, children and families, at the border crossings in Friuli Venezia Giulia, in Tarvisio (Udine) and Fernetti (Trieste).


Inside the Blue Dots, made for women and children

UNHCR mediator Benedetta Inguscio tells the story of a family from Vinnycja (Vinnitsa), a city in central Ukraine tragically known for having been the target of a Russian missile attack in the summer of 2022 which caused numerous victims, from the Blue Dots of Tarvisio.

“It was a particularly vulnerable family: the father had a very strong disability and had driven from Vinnytsia to here, so he was particularly worn out. Also in the car was a seven-year-old girl and a baby. And the family was absolutely lacking in possessions for the newborn, so this reception point was fundamental in providing primary aid to the whole family with particular attention to minors."

Benedetta Inguscio, Head of Blue Dot UNHCR Friuli Venezia Giulia

In the Blue Dots we receive mainly minors and women who meet a team of social workers, lawyers, psychologists, and linguistic-cultural mediators. Children can play and find entertainment, with the proximity of operators including Save The Children; mothers are guided in an orientation process supported by medical, legal and psycho-social support, with particular attention to verifying that they have not been victims of violence.

“Since the beginning of this conflict we have already supported 1,000,000 people. There are over 6 million people displaced within Ukraine and 8 million people who have left Ukraine to seek safety in Europe. With UNHCR we have been present since the beginning of the conflict within the country, in all neighboring countries and also in Italy, also thanks to the support of Enel Cuore, we have managed to give an immediate response to this emergency.”

Laura Iucci, Director of Fundraising UNHCR Italy


The importance of first aid

Over 10,000 people are helped in the Blue Dots, with 30% children and 70% adults, mainly women, alone and with dependent children. A first safe place where to find human, psychological and legal help and to be listened to: in order to understand the basic needs of refugees, as happened for the Vinnycja's family, UNHCR mediators start a direct dialogue with them to identify what path of help is needed.

It is essential that these people understand, in a calm environment, those crucial and reliable indications so that they can continue their journey in safety, in an informed and protected manner, because only in this way can they continue their journey consciously.

“The Blue Dots are a way to sit in front of those who arrive, to really try to give them the reading coordinates of the new country they are entering. Not necessarily to stay there, but with the idea, possibly, of having a continuity of education for the children, a social continuity in terms of creating relationships with other people, with a work community, to get back the dignity that was built in the country of origin.”

Michele Crisostomo, President of Enel and Enel Cuore Onlus

Our solidarity alongside this project has also found further confirmation in other areas of the Group. An example is the intervention of E-Distribuzione in record time to connect the Blue Dots to the grid.

"We are proud to have contributed to the setting up of this structure. A connection that took place in less than a day, an intervention included in the larger Allacciamo le Energie project, started at the time of the Covid emergency and now unfortunately also extended to the Ukraine emergency".

Federico Panone, Grid Manager, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia Area