In border areas, apart from the crisis with migrants, there is also universal mobilization. Help for people stranded on the Polish-Belarusian border is sometimes provided in the underground – for example, a warehouse with gifts for refugees is hidden in the barn. The material of “Poland and the World”.
The migration crisis turned the lives of the inhabitants of the border areas upside down, but no one here thought that the parcels with help for people would have to be hidden in barns.
– Without us, these people will not get any help – explains the inhabitant of Podlasie, who turned her barn into a warehouse. She is an ordinary woman – not an activist. – Many people would like to help, but they do not live in the zone, so it is known that no one will let them in – he adds.
The barn receives gifts from all over Poland. Food is picked up on a regular basis, which is why the bags contain mostly clothes, but also a cardboard box with tents. – This then goes to the activists who can operate in the zone – explains the woman.
A makeshift warehouse was also built at the Tatars in Bohoniki. There are already enough clothes here – there are other needs. – The most needed are canned fish, poultry and beef; sweets for children, disposable spoons are needed, thermal blankets – informs the chairman of the Muslim Commune of Bohoniki, Maciej Szczęsnowicz.
Parcels for migrants are collected, among others, by the Border Guard. Throughout the border region, aid is organized in various ways. – Some are preparing meals, some hot soups. Some go out in the field, some sort clothes that reach us. We try to support each other and complement each other in these activities – says Małgorzata Tokarska.
Activists help migrants
Providing help is not an easy sentence. – We are exposed to controls both in the zone and outside the zone – says Oliwia Hurley. The guards, the army and the police are here at every turn. Controls, showing documents and the trunk are everyday activities here.
– None of us likes to have a car checked twice a day and to be asked where he is going, why he is going, with whom, why does he have a blanket in the car, why does he have a winter jacket in the car, why does he have a thermos in the car? Six weeks ago, having a blanket in the car or a thermos flask would not raise any suspicions – he admits.
Such activities hinder the work, but do not discourage – more and more residents are lighting the green light in front of their house and opens its doors to migrants. – These are the people who eat leaves from the ground and drink water from a puddle. This is the moment when we have to step in and show that not everyone is angry and indifferent – says Kamil Syller, an inhabitant of the Hajnówka poviat. Here, many help, but many do it quietly. “We can’t just look at it and pretend we don’t see it.” These are people – emphasizes the inhabitant of Podlasie who gathers help for migrants in the barn.
Main photo source: TVN24