The ACT UK Team in association with Skanda Vale temple made a contribution of about 850 kilos of food, mainly pasta, beans, lentils, dahls, biscuits etc to a charity called Hope and Aid Direct who were taking a massive cargo of food, clothes, footwear, kitchen utensils and household cleaning materials to the Konik refugee camp in Montenegro which houses mainly displaced Roma families from Kosovo.
Below is a report of the activities that Hope and Aid Direct conducted there with pictures from the founder of Hope and Aid Direct, Charles Storer.
We completed our loading of the articles by collecting nine pallets of pasta from Norwich, by which time the load looked like this;
In addition to the pasta in blue bags, the load consisted of donated new clothes and footwear, household utensils and blankets, and toiletries and household cleaning materials. We also had enough toys to give at least one to all the kids.
Our trip through Europe was accomplished without incident in generally good weather over about five days, before arriving in Montenegro on Tuesday 30th March.
Our team of about 14 set up a temporary warehouse in this dilapidated army building where we partially unloaded all four trucks and split the aid in half to be given out over two days of distribution.
For distribution we set up so that we could give out supplies from the side of the big truck and the back of the others. The donated food occupied the grey pallet tank behind these two members of our team.
Typically the recipients would walk along the line with wheelbarrows or trolleys like this one, where you can see some of the tinned food supplied by yourselves topping off the pile.
Sometimes of course there are more interesting things to receive than the chickpeas on which this little girl is sitting.
The conditions in which they live are pretty unpleasant. Despite part of the camp being rebuilt around container accommodation after a disastrous fire, the occupants insist on extending with dilapidated shanty lean-to’s. The underfoot conditions are particularly unpleasant, although the UNHCR is in the process of building several three-storey blocks of flats. The follow provide some idea of the circumstances;
But there are always some happy faces around