Sadeed Ahmad, Motamid MKA Bulgaria
On 19 June 2022, World Refugee Day was celebrated for the very first time in the city of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. An event under the title “Home without Borders” sponsored by Humanity First Germany, in collaboration with American University in Bulgaria, was organised to help and support the war-affected Ukrainian refugees. More than 25 students of American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) and others volunteered for the event.
The event began with the symbolic release of doves by the director of Humanity First Germany, Zubair Khalil Khan Sahib, the Dean of students of American University in Bulgaria Mrs Sabina Wien, a representative from the Southwest University of Blagoevgrad, students from AUBG and representatives from the Ukrainian community.
Zubair Khalil Khan Sahib, director of Humanity First Germany, Dr Svetlana Hristova, a teacher at SWU, Sabina Wien from AUBG, Savina Topurska on behalf of the volunteers and Anastasia Mozgova on behalf of the Ukrainian community, spoke at the event.
To make the event more interesting for the Ukrainian children, an art and crafts workshop for children was organised to put a smile on their innocent faces. These included drawing, painting, crafting, henna art and much more fun activities for the children. Even before the event, Ukrainian refugee children sent their drawings on the theme of “Peace”to Humanity First Germany which were later presented at the exhibition at the same event.Furthermore,the Ukrainian refugee families were given gift bags with treats along with food vouchers. Besides these families, several other Ukrainians were also given the vouchers. Later on, all the attendees, more than 200 in number, were served dinner.
Moreover, for additional help and support for the Ukrainian refugees, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Bulgaria organised the provision of clothes and other essentials for the refugees.
On 20 June, water bottles, sponsored by Humanity First Germany, were distributed by the Ukrainian refugees along with other volunteers in the centre of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria as a token of gratitude toward local Bulgarians for accepting the Ukrainian refugees. More than 1,000 bottles were distributed in less than an hour.
The volunteers who contributed to making this event a success along with other people from Blagoevgrad (over 100 in number) who supported the Ukrainian refugees through their time in Bulgaria and were nominated by the Ukrainian refugees themselves, were awarded Certificates of Appreciation by Humanity First Germany.