A Kalkara office housing an international foundation is to be transformed into accommodation for ten Ukrainian refugee families fleeing war.

Employees of the kENUP foundation have been asked to work from home as desks and chairs are replaced with beds and other home furnishings ahead of the arrival of around 30 people next week.

kENUP foundation director Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando said it was a "long-term" initiative.

"We don't know when the war will end, and even if it does, we have no guarantee these families will be able to return to their country safely," Pullicino Orlando said.

"For their safety, they will stay for an indefinite amount of time. We will not ask them to leave and we will not charge them a cent."

The kENUP foundation has asked its employees to work from home. PHOTO: kENUP foundation.The kENUP foundation has asked its employees to work from home. PHOTO: kENUP foundation.

The EU on Thursday agreed to approve temporary protection for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. The first Ukrainian refugees have begun to arrive in Malta over the past two days.

The ten families, comprising of around 30 people, are expected to arrive from Poland with full refugee status next week.

Pullicino Orlando, who is also chairman of Esplora, said the foundation will be offering the property, logistical support and pay for the utility bills, while Esplora will take care of daily meals for all families and the Malta Council for Science and Technology will take over maintenance and the transformation of the offices into homes.

"We're ready for it. At Esplora we had already provided daily meals to families in need during the peak of the pandemic, and we're ready to do it again," Pullicino Orlando said.

"We have three kitchens with enthusiastic staff waiting to serve the new guests."

Refugees board a train in Ukraine. Photo: AFPRefugees board a train in Ukraine. Photo: AFP

However, Pullicino Orlando said the foundation needs further help to be able to make the premises habitable in time for the refugees' arrival.

They are appealing for the following:

  • home furnishings including beds, quilts, bath towels, rugs, electric kettles, mugs, plates, cutlery, glasses, mini-fridges, microwaves, sandwich toasters, dining tables, chairs and chests of drawers.
  • Basic food supplies, particularly tea and coffee-making items, bread, butter, cheese, cereal, and fruit, along with plants, sanitary items, toys, clothing and a doctor's service in case of need.

Once the crisis is over and the refugees return home, all supplies and appliances will be donated to NGOs and charitable institutions, Pullicino Orlando said.

Anyone who believes they can help can contact Jessica Mercieca on 99859146 or Claudine Muscat on 79287652. Deliveries can be made to Esplora in Kalkara from 7am to 7pm.

The kENUP foundation describes itself as a 'non-profit public benefit foundation supporting research-based innovation in the wider health industries for societal benefit'.

It is currently working on the construction of vaccine production facilities in Rwanda and is expected to carry out projects in Senegal, Ghana and South Africa, among other countries.

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