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Supporting Refugees in Hungary: Miss Taylor’s Easter Volunteer Work

Thursday 12 May 2022

Miss Kitty Taylor recently joined Queenswood as a Houseparent in Stamp Boarding House. Here she shares her experiences supporting refugees in Hungary over the Easter holidays.

When I first heard about the possibility of war breaking out in Ukraine, as I am sure everyone did, I felt huge guilt sitting in my warm home feeling very secure and safe. Everyone deserves to have this feeling, no matter what nationality they are. No one should be a jailbird of their geography. I knew little of the complex geopolitics of this region before travelling there. This article explains a little more of the situation I saw but it is an extremely complex situation of which I only had a brief glimpse.

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to travel to what felt like a tiny, abandoned village, on the Ukraine/Hungary/Slovakia boarder called Zahony. I was allocated to the night shift at the village train station (8am-8pm), where most people arrive at night, so it was all hands on deck. The waiting area was bursting with refugees - either Roma or Ukrainian. Two types of people with the same need - but from very different circumstances.

The refugees came from Chop train station, just over the border in Ukraine. Most had travelled for around 20 hours to get to us, so were exhausted, scared and wondering where they would go next. Once the refugees had got off the train, it was the volunteers' role to help the refugees though the registration process, in the most comfortable way possible. We entertained the children, carried bags, helped the elderly and most importantly brought them hot food. The refugees then travelled by train from Zahony to Budapest and continued on to other European countries. Italy and Germany seem to be the most popular choices, possibly due to the aid and assistance on offer. Amazingly, all of the trains are paid for by the Hungarian government.

From this eye-opening experience, I believe that in general the Hungarian people are doing great things to support the refugees; they are opening up their small country and in my opinion, should be applauded for doing so.