Aljezur International School
Algarve, Portugal
Education With Inspiration

Mission: Ukraine

Mar 22, 2022 | News

A chronological account of the humanitarian mission last March, which school directors Karen Whitten and Sílvia Catarino took part in.

8 March

School directors, Karen and Sílvia, are leaving this Saturday in a small convoy of four minibuses heading for Poland with donations for Ukrainian refugees. They are also coordinating with refugee agencies in order to arrange to pick up families who wish to come back to Portugal with them. We are appealing for donations of first aid kits, medicine, tourniquets, torches, batteries, candles, baby food, nappies, socks and underwear for men, tinned food, walkie-talkies and mobile power banks. These items can be dropped of either at our secondary school in Aljezur or at our primary school, Barlavento, before this Friday at midday. We have also set up a bank account for the purpose of raising money for Ukrainian refugees.

13 March

Good morning! On our way to Poland in a 7 mini bus convoy fully loaded with donations for Ukranian refugees and drivers with hearts of gold. We are in touch with people we are bringing back to their relatives in Portugal.

14 March

Nearly reaching Poland! Yesterday we travelled 1400 km and slept our second night in the front seats of our minibuses full of donations and medical supplies. We will drop the donations off tomorrow in Poland and meet with our Ukrainian families after that to bring them back to Portugal with us.
This mission would not have been possible without the incredible generosity of everyone who has donated time, effort, money, items and moral support to us. Thank you.

15 March

Here is our beautiful convoy. Nearly in Warsaw were we will unload our donations and start collecting our families.

17 March

We packed our donations and medical supplies into a bus headed for Ukraine with our new dear friend ARTEM, who is returning home to defend his country. We then collected our passengers from various locations in Poland then we set of on the long journey back to Portugal. A big thank you to Akademiehotel in Dresden for providing rooms, breakfast and a packet lunch for all 53 of us for totally free.

20 March

8000 kilometres in 7 days and mission accomplished. Our convoy delivered the vital supplies and brought back 42 Ukrainian refugees from Poland. Most are living with friends and family in the local area and we will stay in touch. Special mention is due to the organiser, Luís, and his team of drivers: Sílvia, Karen, Samuel, Pedro, Ricardo, Paulo, Nuno, Isabel, Arsen, Stuart and Susie. The whole experience was an emotional roller coaster but worth every minute to be able to bring our new Ukrainian friends to Portugal. Thank you to Linda for organising all the accommodation on our journey back and to the hotels who generously offered their beds and meals.
On the way home...

18 May

A massive thank you to all the individuals and businesses who have so generously donated money, items and prizes to our recent fundraising campaigns. Your support has allowed us to take vital supplies to Poland in March and bring 42 Ukrainian refugees back to their families in Portugal. We also continue to stay in contact and support these families here in the Algarve thanks to your continued kindness. 💙💛

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