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volunteering

I am interested in volunteering in Hungary for a week to help with the refugee situation. any information or contact info for a group or agency would be much appreciated. looking to help any way i can. thank you

Posted by
5200 posts

There was another thread on this topic that might be helpful to you. The summary was that there was mixed opinions on whether "on the ground" volunteers were needed unless they had the specific skills needed. There was total consensus on the need for financial support at this time.

If you feel like this is what you want to do, than I would start by looking at the international relief agencies that are active in the region and contacting them directly to see if they have a need that matches your skill set.

I know Doctors without Borders and Samaritans Purse both have medical teams that are active in Ukraine.

Posted by
4672 posts

I agree with Carol. There are many people travelling to the Ukrainian border in various countries to offer assistance but more often than not they end up getting in the way. Unless you have experience in dealing with the logistics of managing large numbers of refugees then the best support you can offer is financial.

None of the major aid agencies are recruiting to provide aid for the Ukraine crisis, they have the manpower they just need more money.

Posted by
6649 posts

And there are hundreds of millions of people already in Europe who are available to provide help.

Posted by
4672 posts

wow. i had no idea Europe had people living in it....

Sarcasm aside, amongst the most important assistance anyone could provide for Ukrainian refugees is somewhere to stay, hence why millions of people across Europe are opening up their homes to refugees. I'm afraid flying over to Hungary for a week, whilst admirable, is not what is needed.

Posted by
13564 posts

bgoode, when you get to Hungary, take a train down to Debrecen. It appears they are processing most of the refugees there. Keleti station which was a mess was pretty quiet the last couple of days so that's my guess.

I dont think anyone outside of this forum would complain if you were to go to a grocery and buy out all of the fruits and vegetables and take them with you to the train station. Another commodity that I have seen here that would be useful would be the space blanket sleeping bags. The roll up to about the size of a baseball so you could pack maybe 100 in your carryon. https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Die-Woods-Extension-Extra-Thick/dp/B07TDNGGVH/ref=pd_lpo_2?pd_rd_i=B07TDNGGVH&th=1

Finally, rent an AirBnb and put them up. Take a mother and her children to McDonalds. The kids will love that. $100 to the Red Cross may be the most efficient, but its hard to beat a 10 year old with a chocolate milkshake (even if it is 40F) Find a toy store. Sure, you can get involved and i think its an amazing idea.

Posted by
352 posts

Yes, money is the most efficient way to help.

But I believe, it is a beautiful thing for a person to take the time to personally involve themselves in helping others. There is more than just meeting people's physical needs. In a way, you and perhaps others who choose to travel, will be our representatives showing them that even those far away, carry them in our hearts and prayers.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you for your responses, particularly James and Gail. I do think human interaction and personal empathy is important. We all desire human connectedness and to deliver that, even in a small way can have a big impact. I like the idea of the blankets and will look into that. I plan to travel around May 6 and if we coordinated efforts that would be great. I am still open to location. Originally looked at going to Warsaw as Poland has the largest number of refugees. But many are also going to neighboring countries such as Hungary. Just trying to find a place to make an impact and lessen suffering even if only a little. I continue to seek suggestions, ideas and help. thank you

Posted by
13564 posts

bgoode, I will be there next week and if I find productive opportunities I will pass them along. One advantage to choosing Hungary is that there are no COVID restrictions to entry .... zero. So getting in is easy.

Posted by
2271 posts

One approach that I am considering is booking an AirBnB but not using it in a town near the Ukraine border. I would think that many are being used by refugees. This is a way to put money in the pockets of those donating space.

Posted by
13564 posts

I've heard of a lot of people booking Ukraine AirBnbs then obviously not using. Or I think AirBnb is taking donations to help house refuges