Hi, I am Alex.

With nearly 1.8 million people having fled Ukraine for Poland, I, a member of Akshaya Patra Foundation UK (TAPF UK) along with our friends from Sai School of Harrow am on a journey from London to provide hot meals for Ukrainian Refugees coming into Poland.

Day 1 – Friday 08/04/2022

6:15 am (BST)

My alarm goes off — today’s the day! You know the saying: the early bird delivers the humanitarian relief to the Ukrainian refugees. These are some photos from last night when we packed food items and loaded the two vans.

8:00 am (BST)

Meet my travelling companions from the Sai School, Harrow, at South Mims service station. The van’s packed and ready with around 1 tonne of dry groceries — we’re all set.

The plan is to drive to an aid distribution centre in Wrocław, Western Poland, where we’ll join with other charities already providing relief to refugees at the scene and combine our forces. The journey will take us around two days, and our route winds through France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, and — finally! — Poland.

11:00 am (BST)

After a morning of nervously eyeing reports of awful traffic conditions in South England, we nonetheless arrive at Folkestone in plenty of time for our Eurotunnel crossing. We board the train at around 11:45, and disembark at Calais around 12:30 UK time (1:30 continental time).

2:30 pm (CET)

After making good speed through England and France, we arrive in Belgium — and quickly get bogged down in traffic jams around Brussels and Antwerp. Oh well.

into france

5:30 pm (CET)

After driving through Holland, we reach Germany — and don’t even notice for around half an hour! There seem to be more signs warning you of the border between England and Wales than of the border between the Netherlands and Germany.

9:00 pm (CET)

We arrive in the picturesque German town of Hamm for an evening meal and, after a little bit of wandering, eventually find a restaurant still serving hot food.

Packup for the day.

11:30 pm (CET)

We arrive, finally, at our hotel in the town of Rhynern for a well-earned rest. More updates to follow.

Day 2 – Saturday 09/04/2022

7:00 am (CET)

It’s the next day we have gotten up early again. We have a 500-mile trip again to reach our destination. From Rhynern in Germany, we are again off on the road planning to reach Wroclaw, Poland by evening if not later.

4:00 pm (CET)

We’ve finally arrived in Wroclaw Poland. Our hosts are members of the Hare Krishna temple in Wroclaw (www.harekryszna.pl) who have been serving the refugees hot, freshly cooked meals ever since the war between Ukraine and Russia started.

4:30 pm (CET)

Our main contact here is Dominik Łuczak, who lived in Bushey for a number of years and was heavily involved in the Hare Krishna temple at Bhaktivedanta Manor in Radlett. Dominik and the team quickly helped us in emptying the van and storing all the food items in their warehouse.

7:00 pm (CET)

By 7ish we had moved all the food items from our vans into the warehouses and were given hot fresh food for the night and a place to stay. We are truly humbled by this experience and feel that if it were not for them this whole mission would have been more challenging than it already has been.

Next update from me tomorrow.

Day 3 – Sunday 10/04/2022

9:00 am (CET)

Our hosts are heavily involved in helping provide food relief for Ukrainian refugees here — we’ll be witnessing and helping out over the course of today and tomorrow.

Very good morning to all reading this blog. While speaking to our hosts last evening we came to know Wrocław is one of Poland’s largest cities and hence it has seen a huge influx of refugees even though it’s to the west of the country.

11:00 am (CET)

We are currently at Wrocław Główny which is a train station in the middle of Wroclaw here in Poland where trains from Ukraine are coming in filled with families and children who have left war-torn Ukraine and are looking for shelter.

11:00 pm (CET)

I’ve managed to meet some volunteers serving here and one of them is Frank, a student here who is helping refugees in whatever way he can. He was kind enough to talk about his experience which you watch below.

12:00 pm (CET)

Dominik and the team have cooked up a simple meal of hot steaming pasta and beans along with some tea and coffee and some sweets for the children. The team feeds as many people as possible 5 days a week. People have started coming and queuing up outside food tents from 10 am. We will be helping in serving these meals today.

3:00 pm (CET)

We have concluded our serving today and might have served close to 300-400 people children and families. The influx of people was highest at the time we started serving and during lunchtime at around 1-2 pm. Since it’s quite chilly and cold out here, a hot plate of food goes a long way. Coffee and tea also helps in keeping the body warm and was constantly being served because of the cold temperatures.

5:00 pm (CET)

After serving we scored the entire area. We saw people in lines with the Ukrainian Flag coming together to voice the issue. We saw a lot more charities some of which were serving clothes, toys, toiletries and other items of use to these people who have lost their homes.

Seeing this our hearts sank but also we know and met some other volunteers who have been serving here in Poland ever since the war began and they seeing the hope in their eyes we know that love will come out greater than any war. Tomorrow we have a packed day of serving again before we leave for London in the evening.

Day 4 – Monday 11/04/2022 – Our last day in Poland

9:00 am (CET)

Today we’ll be returning to London in the evening with empty vans having served many Ukrainian Refugee families and children. But before that, it’s time for feeding again and this time we are going to a different destination. Today we’ll be serving in the carpark outside Młodzieżowe Centrum Sportu Wrocław Skatepark. Dominik says people here will be queuing for almost five-six hours for clothing and sanitary products.

12:00 pm (CET)

Hot meals servings of veg pasta and beans along with hot coffee and tea were served today. There were a lot more people here today who were looking for support and we hope we were able to help them out.

It was a sad sight to see children missing out on school, parents not knowing what is going to happen next, families uncertain about reuniting with their loved ones again? We don’t know but we will support our people in trouble as and when they need us and they need us now.

2:00 pm (CET)

It’s time to head home. It’s been a long and tiring weekend but a fruitful weekend. We’ve delivered two vans full of food here and think this will help people like Dominik serve more and reach out to more people here. A massive thank you to Dominik and the other devotees at the Hare Krishna temple here who have made us feel incredibly welcome.

It’s sad to leave knowing that so many more people are in need. But we’ve done what we came here to do and it’s time to journey home. With your donations and support, we’ll be back with more food items maybe with more vans next time so that there is no dearth of food.

We at Akshaya Patra believe no one should be deprived of food and not just any food but hot nourishing meals to keep the body warm and keep it going. We believe in serving all.

I would say do help out in whichever way you can. Either by being physically present or by supporting charities serving the Ukrainian families. Your help can support/change someone’s life.

I will be reaching home by Wednesday and thank you for coming on this journey with me. Do let me know if you have any suggestions/feedback for me or for our trip by commenting below and to support me in my mission you can donate by clicking the button below.

Signing off,

Alex Waygood.

Watch each day as it unfolds! – Youtube Series

Author: tapfblog

A children's charity tackling holiday hunger in the UK

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *