A GROUP of eight volunteers from Cork Penny Dinners arrived in Poland this morning, where they will distribute 50 tonnes of humanitarian aid donated by the people of Cork to Ukrainian refugees.
Penny Dinners co-ordinator Caitriona Twomey told The Echo that the group had arrived in a very sunny Krakow just after 11am.
“As soon as we landed, the phone calls, texts, and messages came hot and heavy, with everyone checking in to ensure all was going to plan,” said Ms Twomey.
“We arrived in Tarnow, which was our base last month on our first mission to the Ukrainian border, at lunchtime, and the first thing we did was head to the refugee reception centre at the train station, to discuss their needs.
“We were asked about helping at two further locations, so we agreed, and all of that will be sorted tomorrow.”
Penny Dinners volunteers were told there was an urgent need for Nutricia drinks and vitamin drinks as the children arriving at Tarnow are suffering from exhaustion.
“One of our volunteers, Conal, was deeply affected by the lost look on children’s faces,” said Ms Twomey.
“We went to the pharmacy and bought a large amount of drinks, and a lovely husband-and-wife team, Rafal and Magda, who were on duty at the train station were very emotional at our quick response to their request.
“We will be meeting them later to discuss delivery of our humanitarian aid to them and to others they have identified.”
Ms Twomey said they had spoken with the Redemptorist Centre in Lezajsk to arrange delivery of aid to them.
“We are heading to Medyka and Krakow tomorrow, and the team mood is upbeat and lively, with everyone wanting to make a vital impact,” said Ms Twomey.
“We are hearing some tough stories, and everyone is worried at the next move by Putin, and those near the border are very frightened.”