Aid convoy

Project : “a convoy for Ukraine”

The first humanitarian venture was the planning and taking part in of a humanitarian convoy for Ukraine at the beginning of April 2022. In a few weeks, Marine and Sebastien helped to put in place the 18 person team, as well as raising funds for the project. Distributed across eight vans, 40m³ of necessary material were transported to the small Ukrainian village of Korolevo. They returned to France with 23 refugees.

Leaving on April 1st from Toulon, the Var-based team of the convoy finished the humanitarian mission on Friday April 8th after a week long round trip of 3600 km. The refugees recuperated in Korolevo were welcomed by the Var prefecture in Toulon.

Between a being pulled over by border security in Italy, the drivers catching a bout of nastry gastro, a trailer tire blowing out on the freeway… And above all the emotional tears when our guests began to sing the Ukrainian national anthem…The group had a very intense three days on the way back. Life long bonds were forged despite the language barrier.

Everyone got to know each other, managing to converse thanks to the translators on our mobile phones.

This trip to retrieve refugees from a country devastated by war will remain a unique experience for all of us. A genuine moment of humanity that we will not forget. 

m³ of materials of first necessity

Ukrainian refugees brought back to France

km traveled

What was the route ?

Leaving from Toulon in the Var, the convoy first crossed northern Italy, then Slovenia, then Hungary, before splitting in two and deposing the materials at Korolevo and a Hungarian border town. The 3600km round trip took over a week. A few incidents punctuated the journey but overall everything went well. We are thankful to have been able to help these families get out of Ukraine, and hope now they will now be able to have a positive, hopeful future. 
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During the journey, a journalist from BFM Var travelled with AidOcean. You can find his television reports in the Press Review section of the menu.

Sponsors & Supporters – Thank You

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Supporters

Euros collected

After the convoy ?

Two months after the arrival of the “Convoy for Ukraine”, the refugees are well settled in the Var. The children are in school, some of the mothers have found work whilst others will be starting an intensive French course soon.

We visit the refugees, half of them lodged in Bandol and the other half in Toulon, regularly to ensure they are doing well and have everything they need. Despite the hardships they have and continue to face, and the fact that they are separated from their families and husbands, their morale is excellent and they are taking full advantage of living in the Var, discovering the region during excursions organised for them.

The language barrier still makes conversations difficult and telephone translators are used often. But we manage to get by and make ourselves understood. All the moments spent together are happy. Seeing the smile of one of the mothers when their child takes us by the hand to walk down the street is always heart warming. Even after all the weeks of stress leading up to the arrival in an unknown country, their faces are now relaxed and smiling. 

 

For example, last weekend a small group came to visit the boat “Merci” in the port of Toulon. After a while spent chatting on deck, we decided to prolong the moment with a good ice cream taken on the port and to leave for an improvised evening picnic at the beach of La Mître.

It was touching when the tired little ones climbed up onto our shoulders to ride home.

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