So many of our employees worldwide have asked what we can do to support the humanitarian effort in the Ukraine. After liaising with our Genesee & Wyoming colleagues in the UK and the US, we donated 250,000 zlotys to the Polish Humanitarian Action Fund for the support of the refugees of the Ukrainian crisis. Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH) is an established Polish non-governmental, public-benefit organisation, operating since 1992. It supports countless operations throughout the world and its activities are regulated by the Red Cross Code of Conduct. It provides long-term humanitarian aid, protects civilian populations and educates society about the needs of the citizens of the countries in which they work, so we can be assured that the donation we are making in support of the people of the Ukraine will be put to good use.
Our thoughts and best wishes at this time also go out to all of our colleagues in Freightliner Poland, many of whom have friends and family directly affected and who have personally contributed so much to support fleeing refugees. We cannot begin to comprehend the pain and suffering they are seeing on a daily basis.
Here are some inspiring examples of how our Polish colleagues are supporting their families and friends in the Ukraine. Their names have been omitted so as not to expose them to any potential risk.
- Letter from a Ukrainian contractor – Sent: Monday, 7 March, from Kyiv, Ukraine
“Until today it was hard because there are up to 15 air-raid alerts every day, and explosions. Now we hear the noise and can identify what kind of weapon and how near it is.
“A lot of buildings have been destroyed and people killed. Very many are in hospitals as well.
“Some cities have been raised to the ground, for example, Kharkiv in the Ukraine is now in ruins.
“Tomorrow, I’ll try to organise evacuation for my daughter to Denmark through Poland, if it is not too late. Fields and roads near Kyiv are full of hundreds of burnt-out tanks and other destroyed Russian machines, shot-down aircraft, etc.
“It is so very hard. But we must look forward.”
- A member of the FPL executive team managed to evacuate his parents from Kyiv where they have been staying in their flat close to government buildings. His friend brought his parents to the border, where they spent 24 hours queuing before their son could pick them up on the Polish side.
- An FPL locomotive driver is hosting two Ukrainian families in his family house in Wroclaw, south-west Poland.
- An FPL manager is hosting Ukrainian family with children in his house; FPL equipped them with new laptops, a Wi-Fi router and IT accessories so that they could continue their remote education.
- An FPL locomotive driver spoke of his daughter’s godmother who is Ukrainian but has been living in Poland for a long time. They worked together to bring over her mother, daughter-in-law and her two little daughters and another aunt to Poland. However, the men stayed on in Ukraine and will fight.
- An FPL locomotive driver went with his colleague to the Polish-Ukrainian border with two vans full of food and clothes and some equipment for refugees who were in need.
- FPL Warsaw office employees and locomotive drivers organised a collection of camp beds, blankets, tables, chairs, refrigerators, sleeping bags, cooking pots, towels etc. for temporary accommodation on the Polish side of the border. They transported the load to the border on 28 February.
- An FPL accountant serves as a translator in the reception point for refugees in Warsaw.
- An FPL IT specialist helps Ukrainian refugees learn Polish language.
- FPL launched a volunteering programme “#Najsilniejsi (‘The Strongest’) in support of Ukraine” addressed to FPL employees engaged in helping Ukrainian refugees.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in the Ukraine.