Every stay is unique, but the following tips can help you and your guest make the stay as pleasant as possible for both parties:
- Don’t do it alone. Form a network with friends, neighbors, and family to provide housing and support together. No one knows how long it will take, and together you can manage for a longer duration. Also, communicate to your immediate surroundings that you’re hosting refugees from Ukraine.
- Be open and discuss everything. The more you talk about things, the less chance of misunderstandings or irritation. However, be cautious with the infamous “Dutch directness”; choose your words carefully.
- Offer privacy: a private room and time and space for your guest(s) to retreat.
- Don’t be surprised if your guest spends a lot of time on their phone; news from Ukraine and social media contacts are very important.
- Make clear, practical agreements, such as about meals, showers, lights out, keys, cleaning, etc. Be aware that your guest might be tired, angry, disappointed, and anxious.Be tolerant and understanding.
- Be attentive to signs of stress and burnout. Take the initiative if necessary for a doctor’s visit and/or consultation with the Salvation Army volunteer. As a host family, you’re not a caregiver, but you can assist in finding help.
- Consider the position of any children staying. Try to organize a daily routine for both children and adults, including education, work, sports, and other forms of relaxation. Explore opportunities in your area to connect with a sports club or association.
- Don’t hesitate to ask your guest for small favors, like cooking or babysitting. It gives your guest a sense of satisfaction to be able to give back.
- If cohabitation becomes difficult please consult your municipality or the Red Cross WhatsApp Helpline