Let's take a look back at this solidarity journey in 5 steps.
In mid-March, Hans & Richard had the idea to organize a humanitarian convoy to help the Ukrainian people, who were heavily affected by the war in their country.
After an internal discussion within our company, Mr. Roland Jost (CEO of JOST), warmly welcomed the idea and offered to provide a truck, a trailer, a storage space and the necessary fuel to make the journey.
This was followed by an outpouring of solidarity to collect food (non-perishable goods), blankets, clothes, water, prams, medicines and many other donations. Whether it came from our employees, our partners, our clients, private individuals or our employee network, everyone got involved in this action!
All these donations were collected by the JOST staff and stored in our warehouses in Herstal and Maastricht.
Everything was ready to go on Sunday 04 April at noon!
In order to be able to follow our two volunteer drivers, we decided to relay their experience on our social networks and to live it with them, in a close link of heart.
Thanks to Info Data Group, who placed a tracker in our truck, we were able to follow the route of Richard and Ben from the starting point in Maastricht to Krówniki, a Polish town 15 km from the border.
After 22 hours and 1,500 km of driving, Richard and Ben finally reached their arrival point, in great shape, to help the volunteers on the spot to unload the truck and transfer the goods to other vehicles for Lviv and Kyiv.
It was an incredible experience, but it didn't end there, as these same volunteers agreed to lend Ben and Richard a vehicle so that they could see for themselves the reality of the situation on the Ukrainian border.
They witness unprecedented, moving and disturbing scenes.
Numerous humanitarian tents are set up on the road, several hundred metres long. Refugees cross the border in front of their eyes, waiting to be redirected to a European country that will welcome them. On the spot, it is explained that refugees choose a country to go to, hoping to find family or relatives. They stay in these camps for only one night before being transferred to the host country. Others have to wait longer if they want to get to the UK.
Meeting all these people in distress touches our hearts, as we, a few hundred kilometres away, are in a completely different situation.
It's time for Ben and Richard to return to the secure car park where their truck is parked. Long discussions, a shared meal and a well-deserved rest.
They will be back on the road at dawn the next day, heading back to the West, marked by this experience, but happy to have helped the Ukrainian people.
On Monday evening, while all is quiet for our drivers, we receive an official document from the Ukrainian Legion, personally thanking Mr Roland JOST, Hans Janssen, the JOST and KCS staff members, and Iryna Golovachova for their efforts in collecting and transporting the donations.
A very touching document, which reinforces our commitment to the human value of JOST.
We would also like to acknowledge:
- Hans' initiative and Iryna's support
- The courage and commitment of Richard and Ben
- The generosity of Mr Roland Jost
- The solidarity of the donors, who come from all over the world
- Our partners Südzucker, Info Data Group and many others for their support
Our entire community for their active support in the collection, handling of what has been collected and relaying it on social networks to increase its reach and efficiency!
Life in motion