CWU Humanitarian Aid Convoy 2014 - Part 2


Twice a year the Communication Workers Union Humanitarian Aid (CWUHA) deliver aid to schools, hospitals, single parent hostels and orphanages throughout eastern Europe. This year Rebecca Shenton from Simpson Millar LLP and Victoria Pope from Fairpoint PLC joined the convoy to Romania and Bulgaria.

Here is another instalment from Rebecca's blog, when we left she was just about to begin the convoy from Hull.

"Victoria and I drove a long wheel base Peugeot Boxer Royal Mail van, which was smaller than previous years transport but due to only deciding to participate at the last minute it meant that the opportunity to go on the convoy could be opened up to anyone rather than someone with an HGV licence.

The convoy was made up of 7 vehicles including employees from BT, An Post and EirCom.

We travelled for 4 full days through Belgium, the Netherlands (briefly), Germany, Hungary and Romania.

We arrived in Calafat on the evening of day 4. Calafat is a small Town on the border with Bulgaria. We were dropping aid at the town hall to lots of families.

On the morning of day 5 we all busied ourselves in the hotel car park getting our vans arranged to aid the efficiency of the drop and quickly made up around 70 bags of sweets and goodies to hand out.

We were escorted mid-morning by the Police round to the town hall and parked up. We were invited inside to meet the Mayor.

The team meets the Mayor of Calafat.

After the short reception we all went back to our vans to start to unload. By this point there was one family waiting. They were a young family with 3 children aged between 7 and 14. They were patiently waiting. We were told that we could unload a few things there for the families waiting. Victoria and I made a beeline for this family and started giving them some toys, sweets and of course loom bracelets.

We all then started to help the two Irish wagons who were delivering most of their aid at this drop. It was a very hot day and quickly people were getting worn out in the sun unloading the boxes. Within about 10 minutes a small crowd had gathered. There were a few more children.

There was another family with two young children who caught our attention. They were gifted two small play motorbikes from one of the vans and they were over the moon and started racing around the car park.

A stand out moment for me was the tale of the manky fridge which had been donated by the guys at the Hull Depot as we departed. We checked it the morning of our drops in Calafat and realised it needed a good clean! I gave it a wipe around with some Dettol wipes and it was the first thing off our van. However in the scurry it was left to one side to unload other boxes. The first family that were there kept on looking at it. Eventually the father came up to me and pointed at it before placing his hands in a prayer type position. By this point the City Hall officials had gone inside so I and a few others indicated they should take it. It caused much excitement to their little family which was a nice conclusion for that manky fridge.

Next up we were escorted by Police to deliver aid at a psychiatric hospital and then a home for elderly ladies. The Irish wagons were both delivering the remainder of their aid there. The An Post guys had already arranged for brand new beds to be delivered to all the patients who previously had been sleeping on the floor. It was nice for the guys to be able to see the beds up and already in use."

The convoy then continued en route to Bulgaria where we will return with the next instalment.

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