on the ground in Poland
Our partners in Poland have communicated a need for highly skilled and well-trained individuals to help with the crisis in Ukraine. They are seeing a massive influx of refugees arriving, with over 2 million people having fled the war, and they need help managing their volunteers and distributing aid to those in need. GAiN is responding by sending trained volunteers who have been through our Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) programme from across Europe to help. We spoke to Sam*, one of our British volunteers, just before she left for a three-week stint.
Q: What made you want to respond to the current situation in Ukraine?
The level of suffering that we are seeing in this current crisis is overwhelming and I just had to do something. I know many people feel the same, and it is incredible that so many people are responding in so many different ways. For me personally, it is the human connection that compels me, and it’s my faith that gives me the strength and resilience to put my desire to help into action.
Q: How have you been preparing to leave?
It’ll be cold, so I’m taking lots of layers! I’ve been keeping up to date with the news – it’s very important to know how the conflict is progressing – and I’ve been asking friends and family to support me and the people I’m serving in prayer.
Q: How are you feeling about going?
I’m excited to go – I feel it’s a great privilege. I did the training to join the DART team a few years ago, and I am so pleased I was free to respond to the call up this time. GAiN are really professional and well-organised so I feel confident about going with them and I know I will be well supported. I’m ready for all the hard work!
Q: What do you expect your time will look like?
Long hours, not much sleep, cold temperatures, and a good sense of teamwork and purpose. We’re all very clear about why we’re doing this – although we can’t even begin to imagine what these refugees have been through, we are hoping that the little we can do will help relieve their suffering in some way.
We want to leave our partner organisation in Poland feeling stronger and better equipped to carry on their work. We are going for a short time, but they will continue to respond to the needs for the long-term. My hope is that we will be a great support and help to them as they develop so that they can do more and more to help people who are suffering so much because of this terrible war.
Please continue to visit our social media pages @globalaidnetuk (Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) and our website to stay updated on our response to the crisis in Ukraine and how you can be involved.