Maria Ward

'Our eyes are open but we just don't see' ... the plight of refugees travelling across Europe and The World is as real and as dramatic as ever. Last year I joined Hope and Aid behind the wheel of a 7.5 tonne truck and travelled across Europe over a 3-week period. The days were long, sleep and showering minimal, discomfort was the norm and at times a struggle. It tested the best of us; emotions were high but time and time again we came together to overcome problems, find solutions and support each other in order for us to continue our journey and do the job we set out to do. On reflection I guess this same determination and grim persistence epitomises the strength of will demonstrated by our fellow humans and friends living in refugee camps around the world. That said, our brief time living out of a truck doesn't come close to 'life' in a refugee camp. Nothing we endured, no amount of discomfort or problems encountered on the road compares - but it went some way in helping me gain a better understanding of what that must be like. I took strength from their resilience in order to keep going. So please help us to keep those wheels turning, help us to get aid to where it's most needed, help us to help those in need.

Maria Ward