Dimitrovgrad is a critical location on the Balkan route for many refugees. After several days of walking through Bulgaria from Sofia, refugees walk through the night across the border in rough terrain into Serbia. Many arrive malnourished, with poor clothing, soaked from rain, and with hypothermia. The refugees then wait in line for 2-5 days to register with the Serbian Government. During this time, the refugees do not have a place to sleep or a dry place to sit or stand.
The independent volunteers at this location provide hot soup and tea, warm clothes, and dry socks. Without this support, the refugees will not receive food or dry clothing until they arrive in Belgrade 2-5 days later. Your funds will help keep this camp running through the winter of 2015-16 when the mountains of Southern Serbia are at their coldest. This camp typically has 25-100 new refugees a day with around 100-300 at the camp at any given time.Suggested Donation Amounts:
The clothing prices quoted below are from a wholesale shop in Dimitrovgrad. The volunteer group works with a local grocery store for reduced prices on food.
$10 donation will buy 12 pairs of dry socks
In the famous words of Lt. Dan, "I want you boys to remember to change your socks wherever we stop." The first thing volunteers do for a new group of refugees arriving in the camp is to hand out dry socks. Most refugees have soaking wet socks, and the rest have none at all. Often times, trench foot or large blisters are very apparent. Other than food, there is nothing more critical at this camp than dry socks. The camp goes through 25-100 pairs of socks each day depending on the number of new refugees.$16 donation will buy a dry pair of shoes
Refugees show up at the camp with a wide array of shoes. Most are still wearing sandals from their home country or tennis shoes that are soaking wet and falling apart - think worse than the 10-year old pair of tennis shoes you use for gardening. Shoe supplies go fast so most of the time we have to give refugees a plastic bag to cover their dry socks to go into their old, wet shoes.$5 donation will buy 7 pairs of gloves
We run out of gloves about as quickly as we receive donations. It is very common to see two people share a pair of gloves if they only have one pair so that each man has one warm hand.$160 donation will buy food for the entire camp for one day
Each day the volunteers serve sandwiches, fruit, a continual supply of hot tea, and 3-4 small meals with soup with bread. We work with a shop that gives a reduced price. Food is typically kept fairly bland as most of the arriving refugees have not eaten for several days.$35 will buy a box of 30 rain ponchos
Because the camp does not provide a dry place for the refugees, rain ponchos are critical to keeping refugees warm and dry while they wait several days for registration.
Keep in mind that these are only suggested amounts. Donations of all sizes are appreciated! YouCaring.com provides the platform free of charge, but WePay charges a small processing fee of $0.30 + 2.9% for each donation. Remember to share with your friends, even if you are unable to give at this time!
For more info on donating or volunteering contact Jake Pitts at [email protected]
or visit refugeemap.com and search for Dimitrovgrad.
Shoes: Alan Freud
Socks: Jasmyn Barca
Line at Camp: Camp Director, T.
At Night: Emily Macinnes
Blue Ponchos: Emily Mac