With 6 students and 2 vans, We successfully finished our second trip to the Polish/Ukrainian border in December. Our busses contained food and hygiene products from our supermarket campaigns, electrical heaters bought from donations and additional products collected by third parties. In Przemysl, a city near the Ukrainian border, we delivered these supplies to one of our partners, The Canada Way. The men of The Canada Way are ex-military, who arrived in this area with the intention of fighting but soon realized they would have more impact providing humanitarian aid. They have been here for nine months and travel back and forth to the war front (including the actual Russian boarder) to personally deliver all that is required to the civilians that are suffering the most.
The next two days we collaborated with the Hope Foundation, where we helped them in their ‘Hope Shelter’. In this shelter, refugees can rest for a few days after their long journey, decide on their next steps to take, and then proceed their journey in a search for sanctuary. Most of our time was spent transporting newly arrived refugees from Przemyśl train station to the shelter, sorting donated supplies, and helping in a nearby storage area.
We spent the last two days traveling back to the Netherlands, and we did not go alone! We picked up 12 refugees from various locations: the TESCO shelter, the SANWIL shelter, and the Przemyśl train station. Our contacts from On My Way UA knew exactly who would arrive where, and how we could contact them. Since no one in this situation could speak English, Google translate became our greatest friend. That way we were still able to hear about their background and what they had been through during this time of war. Their stories have confirmed that, even though the news item has disappeared from the headlines, humanitarian help for Ukrainian citizens is still very much desired and necessary.
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