Volunteers from a leading UK Muslim charity are distributing food and supplies to Ukrainian refugees who have fled to Poland.
Al-Khair Foundation (AKF) teams have been visiting border crossing points to provide emergency aid and organise long-term assistance for families devastated by the Russian invasion.
AKF, which is based in Croydon, is a specialist at delivering humanitarian help to conflict areas and disaster zones and has been using its vast experience to join with other charities to improve facilities and supplies.
“It is terrifying to see the amount of people arriving at the camps but to see so many people come together to help gives me hope for humanity” said Imam Qasim, AKF Founder and Chairman.
“The refugees are dependent on us for food, water, clothing and blankets so we will do all we can to ease their suffering. We have seen families ripped apart at the border as the men have returned to fight for their country leaving their wives and children behind.
“It’s such a devastating situation for everyone here. We hope and pray that the current situation is stabilized at the earliest and the affected families are united with their loved ones and can return to their country.”
AKF volunteers and staff are on the ground in the Polish village of Medyka where they are partnering with the charity Muslim Hands and local mosques to help families. They are also esponding to short-term and long-term needs and have also distributed supplies in Krakow, Warsaw and PrzemyÅ›l, and are hoping to help more than 2,000 refugees in the first phase of their work.
The volunteers have been working tirelessly in freezing conditions, taking supplies on foot to beat eight-hour vehicle queues and reach families in dire need of food, water, shelter and friendship.
They spoke with Kristina, 45 and Svetlana, 22 from Kryvyi Rih, who were heading for Germany to seek refuge
“Going to Germany means that we would lose our house so we already know that we have nothing to return to,” said Kristina. “After the war we will have to start all over again.”
Al-Khair Foundation, established in 2003, is a leading faith-based UK charity which provides emergency relief and developmental support in some of the world’s most impoverished areas. It has delivered aid to more than 50 million people in 74 countries with a range of projects from emergency support to building hospitals and re-establishing communities.
Its seven UK branches have raised more than £200 million over the last ten years, winning praise for its work in unemployment, education, women’s empowerment and domestic violence. It has also provided help through floods and storm damage in recent years in the UK.