UK Volunteers Deliver Aid to Poland-Ukraine Border

Published April 10th, 2022 - 06:55 GMT
UK Volunteers Deliver Aid to Poland-Ukraine Border
People queue to cross the border on their way back to Ukraine at the border crossing in Medyka, southeastern Poland on April 8, 2022. The flow of people escaping Russia's war in Ukraine has slowed but those now fleeing have often spent weeks in dire conditions, the United Nations said on April 8. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said 4,382,316 Ukrainians had fled the country since the war began on February 24. (Photo by Wojtek RADWANSKI / AFP)

Many volunteers from across Europe have filled eastern Poland this week to deliver much needed aid to refugee camps, which are still hosting Ukrainians fleeing from the war.

Angelo Lebrato started driving his 20-year-old van from Harrow, London together with his son Luca and their friend Ali Fawzi on a journey to the area.

They arrived in Lublin, a Polish city some 100 km from the Ukrainian border, after a 20-hour long drive.

Anadolu Agency traveled to the border with three volunteers to witness the latest situation in Europe’s worst humanitarian crisis since World War II in Europe.

After delivering half of the aid they carried to a local humanitarian center run by Caritas in Lublin, the team drove to Chelm city.

Ali Fawzi,19, who was born as the son of refugee parents from Iraq, said it was his second tour in delivering aid.

“The first one was with a friend called Paulo and I did not want him to drive alone,” he said.

Luca is also 19 years old and he says he had labelled every aid package in their van: blankets, socks, underwear, hygiene materials, baby food, nappies and many other basic needs.

As the van drove into Chelm, the team discovered that a former supermarket was turned into a massive refugee camp, which was run by volunteers but protected by Polish army personnel.

Soldiers were first to question what a UK number plate car was doing in the refugee center but soon they would welcome the aid.

A corporal, who preferred to remain anonymous, said “any aid is welcome.”

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, he said the army was there to provide safety to vulnerable people who fled the war and took refuge in Poland.

The refugee center is well organized, clean and tidy similar to other camps in Warsaw.

Angelo, 46, says the Ukrainian refugees are treated well since they started flooding European borders.

Ukrainians in Need

The team then drove to Dorohusk, where a similar refugee camp was swarming with refugees a few weeks ago.

They delivered the last of the aid they had brought over, mainly health and hygiene items, and engaged with volunteers to find out whether they could take some Ukrainians to Chelm, Lublin or Warsaw.

The center did not assist with such transfers as at least three Uber cabs were waiting outside to take anyone to Chelm for free. The number of refugees went down drastically after the war in Ukraine is intensified in the eastern flanks rather than the western parts of Ukraine.

Driving to the border gate from there, the team was told there were two young girls who were about to enter Poland and they could drive them to Chelm or Warsaw.

The joy and satisfaction of the idea of physically helping someone was obvious in Luca’s eyes while he was hastily organizing the van’s boot to make space for passengers.

But after almost an hour-long wait, they were told that the girls had taken a bus from the Ukrainian side and the lift was no longer needed.

When they drove back to the Chelm refugee center, the same soldiers that helped them unloading the van a few hours before told them a Ukrainian mother and her teenage son were looking for a ride to Warsaw.

Quickly organizing the van again and registering their details with the Polish police, they picked up Ana and Andrei and drove to the Chelm station where they meet Svenia, Ana’s sister. They were trying to go to Warsaw to catch a train to Prague early Friday morning.

A fourth passenger, Tanya, who wanted to go to a refugee camp in Warsaw tagged along.

The team and four Ukrainian refugees then drove off for a 4-hour-long journey.

The next morning, Luca called Anadolu Agency to tell them the mission was accomplished and they were on their way to pick up two Ukrainians from Warsaw to drive them to the UK.


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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