At around 04:00am I woke up with the sound of helicopters in the air. Croatian border patrols hunting refugees in the border region. More and more people arrive here at the Bosnian side of the border and Croatian authorities do about anything to stop people to cross.
Published by Enough is Enough. Written by Riot Turtle.
Two days ago we had heavy rainfall here in Velika Kladuša (Bosnia). Knowing that many refugees are sleeping outside, in the open air, made us decide to start a new operation. Together with SOS Team Kladuša and No Name Kitchen, the cars of Hope activists started to make plans to reconstruct two old containers and to organize more tents.
As part of the Cars of Hope team I also decided to extend my stay here. We started to make lists of the things we need and than calculated the costs to make a budget. Another group donated money for a generator which we need because at the moment there is no electricity in the containers. To renovate them properly we need electricity to weld and to use our grinder.
Today we started to remove the rubbish from the container and bought the generator and other tools we need for the reconstruction work. But we will need much more and as our funds are drying out, we also produced a short video and have set up a crowdfunding campaign to collect donations for this project.
After I woke up at night from the sound of helicopters I was pretty tired today but we managed to get shit done. The Croatian state is supported by the border agency of the European Union, Frontex, in their effort to stop people from crossing the border. But stopping people seems not to be enough. Every day I hear new stories about Croatian cops breaking feet of people to make it difficult for people to make a new attempt to cross. Every day new stories about cops breaking mobile phones, so people can’t use their GPS, about their money being stolen from cops etc. etc.
Since many European countries closed their borders in 2016, the situation is getting worse and worse. Until now the Bosnian state is reacting calm. You almost never see Bosnian cops, they leave the refugees alone. No harassment, no racial profiling, no police violence. I hope it will stay that way. But Bosnia is also one of the poorest countries in Europe and is not able to offer the infrastructure that is needed to deal with the around 150 new arrivals per day.
The local people in Velika Kladuša are doing what they can to support refugees here. People bring food and clothes to the people that are living in the makeshift camp, restaurant owners let people charge their phones and one of the restaurants opened their doors to offer free meals to refugees. They cook around 500 meals per day for free. And I am not speaking about restaurant owners that have enough money for themselves, they have trouble to buy fuel for their cars and to collect money to buy food supplies.
Apart from buying stuff that is needed to reconstruct the containers, the Cars of Hope collective also bought loads of shoes and other stuff people need here. We also support the restaurant that is giving out free meals to refugees.
I want to thank all people that donated, without these donations the work of Cars of Hope in Bosnia would not be possible. But I also want to ask people to keep supporting that work. Because of the daily new arrivals, all groups here need new donations to finance their work with refugees.
If you want to support the work of Cars of Hope and SOS Team Kladuša, you can support the crowdfunding campaign of Cars of Hope and SOS Team Kladuša or donate directly by PayPal, bank transfer, or bitcoins:
Mutual Aid: Support Refugees in Bosnia
Support the work with refugees in Bosnia.
Bank: Volksbank im Bergischen Land
Name of account holder: Hopetal e.V.
IBAN: DE51 3406 0094 0002 9450 87