Two local men have returned after successfully delivering aid to those struggling in Belarus.
Kim Campbell from Gunnislake and Adam Wrobel from Callington travelled around 2,850 miles across Europe to provide humanitarian aid to refugees stuck in limbo between the Poland and Belarus border.
Back in 2021, the Belarusian president organised the movement of asylum seekers with the promise of a safe passage to Europe through Poland. Belarusian security forces escorted thousands of asylum seekers to the Polish border.
However, most of the asylum seekers were caught, and violently pushed back to Belarus by Poland’s border guards. Despite this, hundreds of asylum seekers managed to escape into the forests, trapped.
Since then, refugees have been left living in tents and sleeping bags trying to keep warm.
The trip took Kim and Adam five and a half days, but they say that what they saw only pushed them to do more. Kim explained: “How the Belarus border guards treat the refugees, they push them towards the Polish border then trap them in no man land and don’t allow them to go back to Belarus, the Polish government won’t let them into Poland as they have already taken a million Ukrainian people in, so these children, women and men end up either getting very ill or dying.
“Not far from where we delivered the aid there is a graveyard of 32 people that had died trying to make a better life for themselves, it’s a sad and sick world we live in nowadays to let this sort of thing still happen.”
During the trip, reaching the drop off point proved difficult. “Getting to the drop off point by the Belarus border was a bit tricky,” Kim continued. “It was snowing very heavily, and we couldn’t even see the road at one point. The volunteers were all women and didn’t want the picture taken in case of reprisals as some Polish people are very right wing.
“We went to the Polish side of the fence and got pulled up and questioned by the border guards, they said we couldn’t go near the actual checkpoint and told us we had to back.”
Despite this, Adam and Kim were able to deliver aid to those trapped in the centre of this crisis. “We delivered loads of clothing for children, women, men and babies, sleeping bags, tents, medical aid, boots, coats, long life food, women’s sanitary bits, and flasks. We paid our respects to those refugees that had lost their lives and then travelled five hours back to Warsaw.”
Now back in the country, Kim and Adam are already planning their next trip, this time to Ukraine. They hope to join a group of six others delivering two ambulances. With one ambulance ready, they are now aiming to raise £6,000 for a second.