Hungary: Red Cross provides consistent support for vulnerable migrants facing uncertainty every day

Publié: 6 octobre 2015 20:18 CET

By Andreea Anca, IFRC


Rihane and her father are no stranger to border crossings. It is ten days since the 19-year-old woman and her father left Aleppo in Syria, and now they are among a crowd of thousands that have passed through Hungary to the small village of Hegyeshalom. Despite their obvious exhaustion as they leave the train, they join the crowd beginning a 3km walk to the border with Austria. The pace is brisk and determined.


The pair have travelled through Turkey, Greece, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia by any means available; train, bus and on foot. Their destination is Germany where Rihane’s aunt has lived for 17 years. Having left her engineering studies in Syria, Rihane has hopes for the future. “I really hope to be able to continue my studies in Germany,” she says.


In Aleppo, they had endured years of conflict, but finally, she says, the only safe option was to leave. “For some time now there has been no electricity and no water in Aleppo only a lot of bombs and shooting. You wouldn’t know who killed you.”


Her father – a former mathematics teacher – says he will not leave Rihane’s side. It would be too easy to lose her in the big, moving crowd. He has worried about his daughter since she had collapsed in Greece. He is also worried for his wife and a second daughter who stayed behind in Aleppo, fearing that they would not be strong enough for the perilous journey.


Fresh sandwiches and a smile


At the border between Hungary and Austria, under the roof of a former border checkpoint, a group of Hungarian Red Cross volunteers are busy handing out sandwiches, as well as fresh water and biscuits. The volunteers work quickly and efficiently, offering a smile to accompany the food.  


“Since we set foot in Europe, the Red Cross has been there to help us in all countries we have travelled through,” says Rihane. The various Red Cross societies have, she says, provided consistent support and relief during their uncertain journey.