The first group of refugees supported by Mumbai Smiles arrives in Barcelona

 In Awareness, Human trafficking

The 10 children aged between 9 months and 17 years and the 19 adults who have arrived in Barcelona fleeing the horror of the war in Ukraine from Poland have travelled for 30 hours by bus.

Some of these people have their final destinations in Portugal, France or Madrid thanks to friends or relatives. The rest, 7 families will stay in Catalonia, hosted by 7 other families. Only one of them is a family member, the other six are people like Cristina and Lluís, Glòria and David or Angel, who have opened the doors of their homes, moved by the need to do something about the flagrant suffering experienced by people who are forced to leave everything, belongings and loved ones, to be safe.

We said they have travelled 30 hours by bus, but in most cases they have been travelling for days. Natasha has fled the bombed-out city of Sumy, and after several trips in private cars has managed to reach Barcelona, where she has an acquaintance. Natasha, who is travelling with two children, is confident that the worst is over. Also fleeing from Sumy are Vyacheslav and Elena. He fled Russia five years ago to Barcelona, and was in Ukraine for love. Now they have had to flee again, fortunately to a city they already know, but still nothing has been easy. Vera and Petro, aged 65 and 70, have left their lives behind. After days of hiding in underground shelters in their town near Kiev, they decided to flee and will not return until their town is safe.

From Mumbai Smiles we will accompany these families during the next few weeks, and for as long as it is necessary to attend to their needs. We have activated health care and psychological support protocols and in the next few days we will start all the legal procedures so that they can develop their lives in the best possible way.

These days, our founder and general director Jaume Sanllorente, commented from Krakow that the profile of the people arriving now from Ukraine are more vulnerable, and therefore at greater risk of falling into the hands of human trafficking networks, and there are already more than three million people who have fled Ukraine. We therefore want to continue to support more people so that they can seek safe haven and avoid falling into the danger of trafficking and exploitation. It is essential to continue receiving support and donations from individuals and companies to achieve this purpose.

From Mumbai Smiles we also hope that in future humanitarian transfers we can follow the circuits proposed by the public administration.

Now we can only wish the best to these brave families and thank the host families and all the people, groups and companies that have made the arrival of this first group of refugees possible. But not without expressing once again the need to put an end to the escalation of war, since the only possible way forward is peace.


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