The tragedy of thousands of refugees at the gates of the European Union sparked a wave of solidarity among Portuguese citizens. The result: a caravan of 15 vans and three trucks so far that will leave Portugal this saturday to deliver 66 tons of clothes and goods to the refugees at the Hungarian border.
Images of men, women and children drowning and fighting for their lives in the Mediterranean and at the gates of Europe have become a sad reality in recent years and particularly in recent months. The news are full of stories of people trying to reach a safe haven in Europe. Some weeks ago we were shocked by photos of children in despair before armed men stopping their journey towards their temporary heaven. But a picture of a boy drowned on a beach in Turkey suddenly shocked the world. The boy was not crying, he was found dead on a beach dressed in clothes pretty similar to those of young western children in kindergarten age. This would be the trigger for worldwide commotion. But for some it would be the trigger for more. Commotion alone was not enough. The boy had not made it to Europe. Others did, fortunately, but their lives are not easy these days. Travelling the roads of central Europe we see thousands of families in despair. Some were lucky enough to make to Germany, a country that now as before is taking in thousands of refugees. But others are now stuck at the Hungarian border, facing a violent, brutal wall this country should be ashamed of. And while there is no solution these people will need food, shelter and clothes.
Confronted with this images and tales of despair a group of Portuguese citizens appealed to the community asking people to give a helping hand donating mostly clothes and non-perishable groups. Thousands of people joined in along with a number of companies and the result is there: 30 tons of clothes and non-perishable food products so far have been collected which will be transported in 15 vans and three trucks. Under the name Aylan Kurdi Caravan, this convoy will leave Portugal this saturday and head to Cthe Hungarian/Serbian border. However the route may change, should the circumstances also change as regards the location of refugees at the gates of European Union. The aim is to help those in need and bring them the necessary goods now that the winter is approaching threatening the already dire conditions of thousands of people.
On the vey same day this Caravan will be leaving Portugal we were informed of the United Nations support to this initiative, whose text we attach below: