Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, thousands of people have fled. For both the management and the workforce of GGP Media it was important to help as quickly as possible. And they planned their own relief campaign. They wanted to take in refugees directly at the border and offer safe accommodation in Pößneck.
At around 9:00 a.m. on March 7th, 2022, a coach chartered by GGP Media set off towards the Polish border. Plenty of provisions, blankets and hygiene items on board – all donated by employees and local companies. On the bus with two drivers there were Stefan Wagner, head of Purchasing and Logistics, Alexander Straka, shift leader Printing and an external interpreter.
"As a father of two daughters, the images of the fleeing families were very close to my heart, so I brought the proposal for the GGP relief mission to the management," said Stefan Wagner before the departure.
After almost 1.000 kilometers the border area was reached at around 10:00 p.m.. There, in an industrial area, they encountered good organization, but also numerous refugees. Basic aid was provided and it was decided how to proceed. One could clearly see what strain the refugees were under.
"The situation on the ground was very precarious. Refugees arrived every minute until late at night. Together we tried to fill our bus as quickly as possible and take people in," Mr Straka reported directly after the return journey.
In the course of the night, refugees were approached about our offer of help, also thanks to the interpreter who had travelled with us, a native of Ukraine. In the end, 45 refugees (18 children and young people, 26 women and a 74-year-old man) gratefully accepted our offer and the return journey started around 6.30 am on Tuesday morning.
At the same time, preparations for the arrival of the refugees were underway in Pößneck. Under the direction of Julia Elschner, Julia Brunisch, Ilka Haußner and Matthias Stumpf basic care, appropriate accommodation as well as coordination with the authorities and the municipality were taken care of.
After a journey of almost 14 hours, the bus with the refugees arrived in Pößneck, Thuringia. They have escaped the war in Ukraine triggered by Russia.
"We are happy that our relief action has been successful and that we have actually been able to take in refugees from Ukraine in Pößneck," says Sven Isecke, Managing Director of GGP Media.
Most of the Ukrainians were initially accommodated in a residence for apprentices run by the Volkssolidarität and some private individuals have also offered to take in refugees. Together with the mayor, the district administration, Volkssolidarität and the housing association, the next steps are now being discussed and implemented.
A daily hot lunch for the refugees is provided through GGP’s staff canteen. GGP are also appealing for donations in kind and money, in order to provide a “home” for Ukrainians in the upcoming weeks.
We are also appealing for donations in kind and money to provide a "home" for the Ukrainians in the coming weeks.
"The willingness of our colleagues and the local population to help was and is really huge," Sven Isecke is impressed.