On 26 Sept ACT Serbia team delivered aid (clothes for approx. 200 people, underwear, diapers, food for 70 – donation of the bakery Violeta from Novi Sad, baby food and some footwear) to the migrants/refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries pouring to Serbia on daily basis, in a desperate attempt to enter European Union. As the borders to Hungary and Croatia were being closed by the authorities of these countries, the poor migrants keep trying their luck at various border crossings.
Upon arrival to the official location near the Sid/Tovarnik border to Croatia where the migrants were supposed to be located, we found very few of them and already present tents of UNHCR, Doctors without Borders and some other charities. We then learned from several Czech volunteers at this venue that there is another location where even more migrants can be found and there is no UNHCR or other charities there. We followed them in our vehicles. After more than 1 hour of waiting and then searching for the location in the fields near the village of Jamina (in the vicinity of border to Croatia) we found a big group of migrants (approx. 2000 of them) gathered on a small field road between the fields of corn.
It was heartbreaking to see how many children were present at the location. We were happy that we purchased diapers and baby food as well.
Most of the migrants did not speak any English but it was enough to observe their facial expressions and situation they were in to feel deep compassion for these people and their predicament. 24 years ago we went through the similar despair – the memories of scrambling through the piles of donated clothes, feeling hungry, humiliated, hurt and sad entered my mind and heart…
One of our team members asked one young man whether they are hungry and his reply was “We are hungry all the time”. The food we brought disappeared within a minute…
After distributing the food to the migrants, bags with donated clothes that we brought were handed over to the Czech volunteers who are stationed there for a week (lovely young people who got organized through Facebook, drove all the way from Czech Republic to stay in the tents and volunteer in order to help the migrants). They said that these people were already given some clothes and that they received the information from their main coordinator that a new, even bigger group is arriving that day so they suggested we keep the rest of the clothes in their minivan for distribution to the next group, whenever they arrive.
We were touched by their sincerity and dedication and felt we could trust them with our donation in clothes. We left the venue in the late afternoon with many deep impressions.
Deep gratitude to all who supported this initiative, especially Ms. Snezana Popov who made a big donation in clothes, Ms. Jelena Georgievska Dzakula from bakery Violeta from Novi Sad who offered to bring a variety of fresh pastry for 70+ people and Marina and Djuro Mandic from Indas who made a generous donation and helped us distribute the aid using their company minivan.
Today’s initiative was a beautiful reminder of what a great privilege and joy it is to serve.
With love and gratitude,
ACT Foundation Serbia team