Rescue of women and children. From Genoa and Pesaro an operation that brings women and children to safety from the ruined Ukraine.
Rescue of Ukrainian women and children.
In late February 2022, a rescue operation for Ukrainian civilians left behind by the dramatic invasion of the Russian Federation, Genoa and Pesaro.
In just over two months, the operation – carried out by human rights defenders without any institutional support – has already rescued over a hundred women and children from areas affected by the bombings.
To carry out this difficult project, the humanitarian association EveryOne Group and the group of poets and artists called “Terza Lettera al Mondo” worked with Alex,
bus driver approved by the Ukrainian government to get in and out of the country to transfer the most vulnerable refugees from the war zones to Poland, which is a member of the EU, and subsequently to other EU nations, including Italy.
Human rights defenders Roberto Malini, Dario Picciau and Daniela Malini explain:
“In the beginning, it seemed like a utopia, and we limited ourselves to helping groups of refugees, including the disabled, who intended to cross the border between Ukraine and Poland in Medyka-Shehyni.
They called us for help; some had fled without documents, and we prepared humanitarian letters for each of them to be presented to the border authorities, confirming identity and possible disability.
We appealed to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, who immediately gave us help.
The invasion had just begun, and each of our interventions presented enormous difficulties. “Refugees flocked from Kiev and other parts of Ukraine, but the authorities were completely disorganized.”
The first group of refugees, women and children, thus arrived partly in Italy thanks to the reception of a Genoese family, partly on land from other EU nations.
“Later we realized that the most serious drama took place in isolated towns and villages due to the bombing. People died and those who survived the bombings were forced to remain underground, often in basements in houses, with little food. and some water.
So we got in touch with Alex, who before the war was a bus driver and who now, after rescuing his family, intended to continue to be helpful.
Alex intended to return to the depths of Ukraine several times and exploit his knowledge of the country and any humanitarian corridor,
to welcome as many women, children, the elderly and the disabled as possible on board his bus – sometimes with their dogs and cats – and transfer them safely to Poland and other EU nations ”.
Meanwhile, in the “Third Letter to the World”, EveryOne Group and the group of poets and civilian artists launched an art auction on Facebook in support of the operation.
When an ethical buyer bought a work of art offered at auction, they received the driver’s PayPal account and paid the amount directly to him, who used it for fuel and expenses associated with each trip.
“While identifying housing solutions with families, Alex made three trips,” the poet activists continue, “to reach the most isolated places, bringing dozens of civilians to safety.
The auction continues today, and as long as we succeed in raising the necessary funds for each operation, the bus of life will continue to travel between the devastated places in Ukraine and the EU ”.
Now the bus is preparing for the fourth rescue operation, which is to take twenty women and children to safety.
“The whole world is talking about the hundreds of refugees who left the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.
Despite the humanitarian corridor that has been announced, it is difficult to reach them and not everyone reaches Zaporizhzhia, where Alex and other brave drivers are waiting for them.
Among the heroes – let’s define them with this term – who these hours welcome them aboard a couple of buses to transfer them safely to the EU, is our Alex.
Twenty of the refugees, women and children, will board his bus, leaving the horror of the bombs, of the darkness, of hunger, of thirst, of the many deaths they have witnessed.
For our part, along with your big heart, we value ethical donors and buyers.
Without them, the bus would have already stopped.
We are now waiting with bated breath for the refugees from Mariupol to come to the EU. So we hope to be able to organize the fifth journey of his life ”.