Hello Europe Refugee Fund

€ 310,305



€ 1,000,000


Hello Europe Refugee Fund

Millions of people have fled from Ukraine. Mostly women and children in search for safety. They found refuge in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. Some are taking trains, cars and buses to reach Italy, Spain, Germany, UK that are offering support. Others are on their way to the US and Australia. 

Many of us are wondering with urgency what we can do to help. And most importantly, what is the most strategic way to support long term, systemic change.

We need to adapt quickly and effectively to allow for a dignified integration of the hosting and coming communities. 

Since launching Hello Europe (Ashoka’s global migration initiative) in 2015, we have created a network and series of tools that have enabled us to continually adapt to respond to emergencies like this one. Indeed, Ashoka has over 40 years' experience in supporting initiatives of social innovation, and specifically through the Hello Europe program, in addressing migration and people on the move from a different, impact-driven perspective. 

We believe that:

  • People arriving to our countries are brilliant changemakers – it’s an unexpected influx of talent, energy and creativity.
  • The fact that our systems are shaken is a good opportunity to redefine how they work in general – they were never perfect to begin with! 
  • We need to be fast, agile and smart. We must find effective solutions, adapt and scale them so that we can ensure effective responses to emerging challenges.
  • To make this happen, resources are needed.

This is why Ashoka has launched the Hello Europe Refugee Fund.

+ The Impact We Will Achieve


We need to support the supporters. Organisations responding to immediate needs have many challenges – sudden growth; lack of governance procedures adequate to the scale of the challenges they are facing; or the personal wellbeing of the teams involved, among many others. 

Supporting them to take a systemic approach and grow in experience is fundamental to get the best results.

What we are doing:

  • Building and coordinating an agile and accountable network of professional support to leverage the impact of the organisations burdened by the immediate consequences of the crisis. 
  • Designing a network and governance model to be used in the future for local and global organizations to work together well.  . 
  • Offering financial support for the implementation of projects.

Example of a social entrepreneur working in this field, supported by Ashoka: 

Witold Klaus, from Poland, founder of  Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej (Legal Intervention Association) – is part of the Polish Emergency Response Group coordinating the human services infrastructure and systems at the Polish-Ukrainian border, where over 300,000 people came in the first four days following the invasion on Ukraine. 


At Ashoka we see changemakers everywhere and crises are usually a trigger for innovation. 

We want to find the leading social innovators among the communities who are now in Central and Eastern Europe addressing the most pressing social challenges. As we identify them, we will support their work and boost their impact through strategic accelerators, connections and funding. 

What we are doing: 

  • Selecting and scaling innovative, proven solutions in and from countries directly affected by the invasion of Ukraine (Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia). 
  • Accelerating their impact through connections and multi-stakeholder clusters in topics such as integration policies or employment.

Example of a social entrepreneur working in this field, supported by Ashoka:

Dorica Dan, from Romania, created Centrul Noro to provide services and access to medicine and therapies for families and individuals with disabilities or rare diseases in the Ukrainian border. 


How we frame the narrative matters.

Too often we have talked about refugees and migrants as passive subjects of pity or compassion. Our experience shows a different picture though, people on the move are potential powerful changemakers, eager to contribute to the good of all in their new communities

This is why we want to work with and develop new narratives that re-imagine how we address migration.

What we are doing: 

  • Working closely with social entrepreneurs who influence public agenda, to support their work. 
  • Hiring professionals and/or communication agencies to build positive storytelling and collaborate with various influencers in all countries involved.

Example of a social entrepreneur working in this field, supported by Ashoka:

Gonzalo Fanjul, from Spain, founder of porCausa, is creating new information-generating models to encourage a more informed public debate. He helps society understand the reality of social challenges by ensuring that truthful information gets the relevance it deserves. PorCausa recently launched a report with evidence on the benefits of regularising undocumented migrants.  

+ Support Us

Photo by John Brighenti 


Every donation is equally important to achieve our goal of 1 000 000.

If you would like to make a large donation, or speak to the team, please contact Agata Stafiej-Bartosik: [email protected] and Kenny Clewett: [email protected] 


+ Ashoka Innovators for the PublicPhoto by Bartosz Brzezinski 

Ashoka envisions a world in which everyone is a changemaker: a world where all citizens are powerful and contribute to change in positive ways. Ashoka identifies and supports the world's leading social entrepreneurs, learns from the patterns in their innovations, and mobilizes a global community that embraces these new patterns to build an "everyone a changemaker world".

Ashoka is made of 3,700 Ashoka Fellows – innovative, entrepreneurial, creative and empathic people whose thoughts and activities are concentrated on creating a better world by implementing system changes. With the outbreak of the conflict, many of them reformatted their activities to address the urgent needs of the Ukrainian and other communities. 

For more examples on how Ashoka Fellows have responded to the emergency, please visit: 


+ People behind Hello Europe Refugee Fund

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    Ashoka Fundation Innovators for Public Good legally established in Poland, registered with Register of Entrepreneurs of the National Court Register for the capital city of Warsaw, XII economic department of the national court register, registration number KRS 0000184794, physical address: ul. Michała Paca 40, 04-386 Warsaw. All donations are deemed tax deductible absent any limitations on deductibility applicable to a particular taxpayer. No goods or services were provided in exchange for your contribution.

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