YOU Can Help Rescue the Refugees at the Ukrainian Border

 

Are you wondering how to help the people in the Ukraine?


When I travel, I always want local knowledge and fortunately two of the smartest travel people I know shared the following– Cyd Cunniff shared John Boulding‘s post, who I traveled with in Italy when he was CEO for Insight Vacations, about what Tim Pendlebury is doing to rescue refugees:

TRAVEL WEEKLY UK: Insight Vacations tour guide rescues refugees at Ukraine border

By Samantha Mayling | March 01, 2022, 17:46

Pictured: Tim and his wife Sabina (right) with Natalia and Darya.

Poland-based Insight Vacations tour guide Tim Pendlebury has rescued a mother and daughter fleeing the war in Ukraine and set up an appeal to support refugees escaping the conflict.

He drove 300km to the Poland-Ukraine border over the weekend to collect Natalia and her daughter Darya, then helped them reunite with Natalia’s older daughter Alina, who is studying in Poznan, Poland.

The father of the family, Vadim, remains in the capital, Kyiv, as men are not allowed to leave.

Pendlebury has also set up a fundraiser on Facebook to support a Polish charity, Caritas Polska, which is helping Ukrainians arriving at the border.

In just two days, he has raised £4,257 from friends, family and followers on social media.

He met the family four years ago in the Polish city of Krakow, as they needed directions, and had exchanged social media handles.

Last week, he contacted them to ask about their situation and heard about Natalia and Darya’s bid to escape and reunite with the older daughter in Poland, so set off to meet them.

“It was organised chaos at the border, with lots of charities and frightened women and children coming out – and Ukrainian men going the other way,” said Pendlebury.

The pair had experienced a long and tiring escape – a normal 20-minute journey out of the capital had taken five hours, then a drive to their home village in western Ukraine, between Kyiv and the Polish border, had taken 20 hours instead of the usual four.

“When the traffic queue at the border didn’t move for hours, they decided to leave their luggage and walk the last 10km, and then the processing on the border took hours,” he said.

“They had not slept for several nights, and had heard missiles and bombs,” said Pendlebury.

By the time he met them, it was 3.45am – but they finally reached his home at 8am on Sunday in the small village of Gilowice, near the border with Slovakia.

He got clothes for Darya from friends and relatives before they headed to Poznan to be with Alina.

Pendlebury is now on a Polish government list, ready to help another family of four – or friends and family of Natalia and Vadim.

“We have become instant friends with the family and we want to visit them in Kyiv when this is all over,” said Pendlebury.

“Natalia and Darya were thankful, happy and emotional when they came to us – one day they were living a normal life and none of us expected Putin to invade…then it happened.

“They heard the dull thud of bombs and their lives changed – she was a banker and economist with a sideline of making and selling jewellery on Etsy.

“Now, for the past three or four days all they want is sleep, peace and a hot shower.”

He said there is a great sense of unity and “enormous collective effort” in Poland to help the Ukrainians.

As well as setting up his fundraiser, he’s buying supplies such as food and nappies from his local supermarket to donate to the Red Cross.

His appeal has received donations from his home country of Australia plus New Zealand, South Africa, US, Canada, the UK and Europe – and he has had support from colleagues at Insight vacations and its parent The Travel Corporation, where he has worked for the past 24 years.

He shared a clip of himself heading to the border to show his followers “the human aspect” of the war and how refugees “are people, just like us”.

Donations from for tour leaders and tour directors were particularly remarkable, he added, because many of them had experienced a “tough time” during the Covid crisis and not working.

He hopes to start tours in Poland again in the spring and said he will work on creating a new travel itinerary, a journey through Poland and Ukraine in the years ahead.

His appeal is called ‘Helping Ukrainian women, children & elderly fleeing Putin’s aggression’ because he said “most Russians” are against the conflict, according to feedback from his colleagues in Russia.

Want to join me in supporting a good cause? I’m raising money for Caritas Polska and your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate a lot or a little. Anything helps. Thank you for your support. Caritas Polska are providing immediate assistance to refugees fleeing the violence in Ukraine. At Poland’s borders they are there with food, water, blankets, beds & shelter, organizing and doing a great job amidst the influx of hundreds of thousands of people.Facebook pays all the processing fees for you, so 100% of your donation goes directly to the charity. 

FIND TIM on social media: Instagram @travelling_insighttim; Facebook @InsightTim; YouTube, Once Upon A Time In Krakow; and Twitter @InsightTim.

https://twitter.com/InsightTim/status/1498719695934996487

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.5 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers”

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