Ukraine crisis: Volunteers provide food and aid to refugees

As tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees flood into Poland every day, their journey is far from over.

At Przemysl train station, one thing is for sure, there is constant chaos. The refugees, mostly women and children, waited to find out where they were going next.

Ukrainian men are a small minority at the station. People between the ages of 18 and 60 must stay in their home country, unless they have at least three children. “My children came first,” one man told CTV National News.

About 2 million people have so far fled Ukraine and found safety in Poland, thanks in large part to the efforts of volunteers, both at home and abroad.

UK-based Khalsa Aid has formed groups in five countries bordering Ukraine, including Poland, according to the organization’s website. Once the refugees cross the border, teams will provide them with warm food, water and a place to sleep for several hours, as well as some basic medical aid.

“When we give them food, they feel at home,” said team member Amandeep Singh.

“I know they have left their homes, their families, their fathers, their brothers. So we try to give them comfort (so they can) feel they are safe and that people are taking care of them.”

Khalsa Aid’s London headquarters have telephone dispatchers to try to provide the organization with the resources it needs on the ground during the Ukraine crisis.

Khalsa Aid volunteer Johnny Kalsi said: “You see these poor children, the fact that an entire country is scattered across Europe is quite emotional. “I never thought I’d live through this… It’s a war on another level.”

Transit centers and refugee camps are not the only places under pressure. As the Russian army moved further west during its invasion of Ukraine, the war began to become dangerous for the inhabitants of the Polish border towns.

The small community of Budzyn is just 18 kilometers from a Ukrainian military base that Russian forces bombed early Sunday morning.

The explosions rocked the home of 80-year-old Danouta, who counted six explosions. She believes that the bombing has crossed the border into Poland.

“What if next time, they accidentally fall here?” she speaks. “Or worse, what if they intentionally and we’re next?”


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