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Her feet were white and yellow, covered in hardened skin

Here you can read the summary of an article published in by one of the volunteers, Marianna*, living in the Podlasie region in Poland. Daily, she helps carry out civil rescue operations at the border with Belarus. Marianna Marianna describes a meeting with a group of refugees with children. Some of them were illegally pushed to the Belarusian side by Polish border guards 8 times. Fortunately, this time the volunteers reached them first.⁣

In the forest near the border, there is a group of three adults with five children. After a short while, Marianna* and 2 other volunteers arrive where the group is supposed to be. They started their journey. During one of the stops, a young boy asks to tend to his feet covered in blisters and abrasions. A little girl requested the same and as she took off her shoes. They were white and yellow, covered in hardened skin. They hurt with every touch. We washed the children’s feet, covered them with thick ointment, and put socks on. The boy continued walking while the girl was being carried by one of the volunteers.⁣

As we continued walking down a steep hill, we saw a man with a machete. We were a bit unnerved. He saw us, and we started making conversations about tomatoes. The man looked up and saw a group hiding on the slope. We talked for a while, and he finally left. “You will not call anyone,” I asked. “No, I will not. You do not have to worry.” - he answered, walking away.⁣

Later, I met with other locals and collected sleeping bags, sleeping mats, and sheets to build a tent. I took everything with the help of another local and continued our journey to find the refugee group. We found them, and we delivered the goods. The following night, it was easier to find them, and they were all sleeping. They put all the trash in the bags - it always surprises and touches me. I walk around them and wake up the father. He gets up abruptly, waking up the boy. With Poles, he has only awful experiences, and he has been pushed back with kids 8 times already; through the wires, the polish officers have destroyed his phone. The man trusts me completely. What desperation.

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