Posts tagged ‘Europe Refugee Crisis’

Imagine Her as Your Child

Tabanovce, Macedonia: On December 16, 2015, the UNITED SIKHS Refugee Relief Team watched in stunned silence as a 5:00 am train carrying hundreds of refugees arrived in Tabanovce was greeted by subzero temperatures. Safeea was one of hundreds of toddlers who shuffled off the train after a train ride of four hours, and in the morning walked a few kilometers to the nearest village in Serbia. Despite her silence, her face spoke volumes.

Safeea could have been one of those hundreds of refugees who had not had a hot meal for the last 12 hours, before they arrived in Tabanovce, Macedonia. The same town where thousands of refugees from Syria and other tumultuous nations arrive every night after fleeing dire political situations and being trafficked across deadly waters. Our team of volunteers that night were headed by UNITED SIKHS Asia Pacific Coordinator Rishiwant Singh. Even with his ten years of field experience on the humanitarian aid front Rishiwant was totally unprepared for the physical and emotional toll of witnessing hundreds of children, too cold to cry, trudge solemnly ahead in their journey of survival.

“I could barely breathe let alone stand completely numb in the cold. The pain was just excruciating. I kept looking at the children. Thank God it was dark. So no one could see me crying. How can we stand aside and do nothing while these people are suffering so much,” he said.

On Sunday, the UNITED SIKHS Refugee Relief team working with our local partners started serving the first hot meals to refugees arriving in Tabanovce. We are compelled by the authorities to obtain the hot meals from a licensed company at set rates. For £3 ($5) we can serve a hot meal to a family of three. Our partners, the Bektashi community of Macedonia, the European South Eastern University, and NUN Kultura Civil Association Skopje Macedonia will assist in the distribution of the hot meals, fruit and bread to as many refugees as possible. Our media partner Sikh Channel will relay videos of our relief work in Tabanovce where up to 2,000 refugees pass through every day.

Donate just £3 ($5) to serve the first hot meal of lentils and bread to a refugee family tonight.

In the days leading up to their arrival in Macedonia, each of these individuals have risked their lives–likely more than once–across multiple countries, seas, and trains. After our team meets them, they continue out into uncertainty. But during that short time, your support allows us to be a beacon of hope that greets them with a smile, and the comfort of a hot meal.

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