25 – 29 September
This journey to Opotavoc in Croatia started on the 25th of September and returned on the 29th with a total of five vans – including two 7.5 ton lorries. Two vans were taken by members of Re-Act and three we taken by members of Edinburgh Cares, following information gathered by Akeel Umar in conjunction to the previous trips.
Only four vans completed the journey as one van broke down. However, the items that were on that van were not wasted as they diverted to Calais and offloaded donations there. The loads consisted of men’s, women’s and children’s clothes and shoes as well as tents and ground sheets.
The camp had recently been set-up by the Croatian Army and Police, and was a transit area. Refugees were collected from the boarder at Bapska then processed, given something to eat and then bussed onto the railway station at Tovarnik.
We made contact with a German charity which worked with us to offload all the vans’ contents. These items were distributed the next day to the thousands who came in the busses.
We then went into the local town and visited the local superstore Konzum and Lidl. We bought energy drinks, bananas, energy bars, tins of sardines and tuna. This was bought by donations made to Edinburgh Cares. A total of 65,000 kunas was spent (£6,500) on this food.
We returned to the camp and we were allowed into the camp . Working alongside the Red Cross we loaded the food into their holding area to be distributed to the refugees.