From Spain to Ukraine: Extraordinary journey in a convoy of solidarity across Europe

“Our initiative was born out of a series of motorhome owners who wanted to bring medicine and food and to reunite family members in Spain on the return trip to optimize the journey. In four days we have brought together 25 campers from all over Spain, “said Christina, with her dog Sira behind the wheel of her camper. “She does Pet therapy For children “.

There are people like Christina behind each of the Spanish flags painted in the parking lot of the refugee center. NGOs emphasize the importance of cooperating with organizations to manage chaos in such situations, discourage mafia infiltration and human trafficking.

To address these issues, the refugee center this week implemented a bracelet detection system without which it would not be possible to enter the center, but they do not allow printing inside to protect privacy, they tell us.

“Things change here every day in the field; A mode that worked until yesterday can no longer work today. The situation changes as needed, “explained Claudia, a volunteer there Juntos por la Vida. “These people are very strong and very grateful,” Claudia continued. “What we offer them is not only a means of transportation, but also emotional support.”

There is also a combination of help that needs to be solved gradually. “The other day a girl came and hid in a trunk with her dog and left the country, and when she came here the bus driver told her that the dog could not travel with her. If you come here to help, you must understand that these people are fleeing the war, and you are here to help.

The volunteer explains to us that the situation here is constantly changing, and that we work 12 hours a day, we must always be ready and try to cooperate so that some relief efforts are not in vain.

On the way to Warsaw

After the aid was distributed at the border, we first saw the arrival of refugees. The anxiety painted on their faces began to subside somewhat calmly and at the same time disbelief. An interpreter groups them and reassures them when he picks them up on the bus.

The caravan then set off again, heading for the refugee camp in Warsaw, where there are many more people looking for a way to reach Spain. A couple of Ukrainian volunteers living in Poland coordinate people to limit confusion and optimize time. “Yesterday there were 35 people on the list, today there are 25 people,” said Jaro Pro.

At the meeting point, a large bag filled with soft toys breaks the ice. The little ones go ahead and pick up their dolls, and the families, with their pets, begin to show a little more confidence. Here we meet Alla and Katja, mother and daughter, who left Mariupol a few days ago. They can’t speak English, but there is no need: one by one they go to the group members and say thank you, with a look that says a lot more than a lot of words.

Filled with emotion, the caravan set off on its way back to Spain, looking for a place to spend the night along the way. The hours and kilometers that await us and the mobile phone’s automatic translator allow us to open a window into what each of these people is leaving behind.

The road becomes a space-time bracket where children’s faces give up fear and start laughing and playing. Most of their family members, acquaintances or foster families are already employed in Spain and are looking forward to starting their new life. Others hope that this will end soon and that they will be able to return to their homeland in a few months. Whatever their path from now on, they are finally moving away from the terror of war and can imagine a new future for their children.

Arriving at our destination, in Madrid and Valencia – the cities where shelters and reception centers are set up – the campers merge into a scene of endless embrace among the people who share more than 3,000 kilometers of road. “Thank you,” Max said in a video in Spanish to those who greeted him with family. He was the first child taken from the caravan, tired and frightened. Today he looks different.

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