Croatia, January 2016
Around 2000 refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria arrived daily in the transit camp of the Croatian city of Slavonski Brod in 2016. After a small strengthening by local aid organisations, trains continued on towards Slovenia. At the end of January, the StrickWärme team set off for Croatia in a van to help. In their luggage they carried over 160 kilograms of hygiene articles such as bandages, wet wipes and toothpaste and around 840 kilograms of warm clothing donated by people from all over Switzerland.
The people were completely exhausted. The StrickWärme team had spent months collecting donations and planning border crossings in order to guarantee the success of the mission and not have to turn back at the first customs check.
We cooperated with several other NGOs to make the aid as efficient as possible. We met the American organization Samaritan`s Purse in Zagreb. They received most of the hygiene donations to equip their hygiene backpacks for women. They distributed these to the escaping women on the Balkan route.
In the camp of Slavonski Brod we worked together with the German-Austrian InterEuropean Human Aid Association. We gave them a helping hand in the tent and were able to personally distribute the clothes we had brought with us. In the distribution tent many refugees filled up with energy, drank tea and warmed up briefly. With outside temperatures as low as minus ten degrees Celsius, many people from the Middle East and Asia were confronted with bitterly cold temperatures.
With warm jackets, selfknitted gloves, scarves and caps we made many people happy. People know that homemade things come from the heart. We will never forget the glowing eyes of children when they receive a crocheted doll from us.
Humanitarian aid for people on the Balkan route
160 kilograms of hygiene articles
840 kilograms scarves, caps, socks, jackets
Slavonski Brod, Croatia