Three friends moved by the plight of refugees escaping war-torn Syria have joined forces to deliver care packages to those in need.
Chad-Harwood Jones, from Gravel Path, Berkhamsted, and pal Roly Searle, of Camden, London, will fly to the Serbian capital of Belgrade on Thursday, October 22 to meet friend Miodrag Atanasijevic before travelling down to the country’s Hungarian and Croatian borders together.
Chad, who lives with wife Emma and their sons Jack, four, and two-year-old Freddie, said: “These people have experienced the worst kind of hell one could ever imagine.
“Their lives have been turned upside down by war and violence and they have been left with no choice but to flee their homes and country, many with young children, walking for weeks with no food or water for days.
“We simply cannot sit by without doing something, no matter how small. It all counts.”
More than £2,300 has been raised through a Just Giving page, which will be used to buy items for around 150 ‘survival packs’ to include toiletries, blankets and tinned food.
Chad’s friend Miodrag works for a non-governmental organisation in Serbia and will help hand out the care packages to the people in need.
Father-of-two Chad, who works in marketing in London, says the national media have not highlighted the Serbian contribution to the Syrian refugee crisis.
The 34-year-old said: “There are 7,000 to 8,000 refugees coming through every day.
“The average wage in Serbia equates to 400 Euros a month, but they are welcoming the refugees with open arms because they know what it’s like.”
As well as the survival packs, Chad is hoping to collect around 40 to 50 children’s sleeping bags from Dacorum community before he leaves.
To donate a sleeping bag or cash, email firstname.lastname@example.org, marking it FAO Chad.
He also plans to collect ‘messages of solidarity’ from local school children to hand to young refugees, saying: “I know it’s only a small thing, but they will know that the children here are thinking of them.”
The trio’s trip will be, as Chad says, ‘transparently’ documented at www.facebook.com/ supportprojectsforchange