In a situation report to the humanitarian mission of the Madeira Emergency team on the border between Poland and Ukraine, Gonçalo Félix explained to radio 88.8 that that Portuguese group had set up a tent in the corridor located near the bus terminal, ready to collect those fleeing from the conflict. From there they handed out essential goods to refugees arriving at the border, and also provided medical assistance to those who need it, especially as many children arrive dehydrated and in pain, while adults suffer broken fingers and foot problems, such as toe fractures. ”
In addition, the team of volunteers who joined the Portuguese from the EntreMundos Association and the Lisbon Faculty of Medicine Student Association, has established contacts in the field, namely with a team of Israelis who are collecting medical equipment and medicines to transport to hospitals in Kiev and Lviv. “With this contact, our job has been to direct all the medicines that we are getting here, that are sent to us and that we are donating, to this team. We drive to the Ukraine, there is an area where we meet them, we load the medical material into their cars, and they deliver it directly to the hospitals.”
In addition, to the “endless lines” of refugees awaiting passage to Poland, which often “reach five kilometers,” volunteers distribute thermal blankets, blankets and food items.
Despite having previously worked in other refugee camps, namely in Greece, Gonçalo Félix admits that the situation between Ukraine and Poland is ‘quite different.’ “People here are fleeing a war. They come alone, or with their children, because their husbands cannot come”, he said, obviously moved by scenes he has witnessed, where for example, “fathers stay behind in tears, and the wife and mother crosses the border without knowing if and when she can return.”
People arrive here nervous, crying, despite the relief of being able to reach the border. They come from conflict zones. We have already received people who saw their homes being bombed, and their loved ones die. Many women arrive with only what they could carry, and we offer everything we can to help them.”
On Sunday mornings, there are two of us at the English Church, Funchal, collecting toiletries, dried food and pet food. If you have anything to spare, and would like to drop it into us, we would love to see you. Or you can drop it in directly to LOGISLINK Cancela. Please use the entrance on the main road, and head towards the IKEA collection area.
info at madeira-weekly.com