Refugees and migrants arrive by the busloads near the border of Serbia and Croatia.
World Vision and other aid agencies are there to provide relief supplies.
“Is the border really open?” “How far do we walk?” “How long?” refugees ask the people they meet along the road — for the most part Christians, as it turns out.
Ecumenical Humanitarian Organization (EHO) staff and volunteers from Novi Sad, Serbia, provide first aid as well as relief items. Says a physician who volunteers with the group, “We are very sad for these people. As Christians, we have to help them if we can.”
Members of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) are also lending a hand to smooth the refugees’ journey. They have fielded a small team of volunteers to provide aid to refugees. who have few other sources of supplies as they travel.
World Vision staff brought a truckload of relief goods, set up tables under a canvas canopy, and put out bottles of water, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and canned meat — lightweight single servings with a peel-off lid.
After weeks of providing aid along the refugees’ route, they’ve gotten a good idea of what families on the move need and want and the limits of what they can carry. Diapers and baby food are offered, along with feminine hygiene products.
“Pick out a toy,” says staff member Nela Basic as she gets down to a toddler’s level to offer a stuffed elephant in one hand, a frog in the other.
While he waits for his children to each pick a toy, a refugee from Deir ez-Zor, Syria, says he has been traveling for 10 days with his wife, four daughters, and infant son. Like many refugees before him, he hopes to reach Germany to join his Syrian neighbors.
Photo©2015 World Vision, Laura Reinhardt