ARA, or Animal Rescue Algarve – the Loulé-based charity that has done so much for animal welfare in its brief years of existence – is springing into action with the aim of making a difference for the War-torn Ukraine.
The organizers want to send two vans with a team of volunteers, goods and funds to help NGOs in Poland working with displaced families and animals.
The decision came from ARA’s “magical foil”: its volunteers over the past three years have often come from northern European countries.
Because of their experience at the shelter, which has managed to relocate around 1,000 animals so far, these volunteers have “always stayed in touch” – some even come back to participate a second or even third time in the international workaway program including ARA was inspired. his helpers from the very beginning (click here).
Since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, these contacts have been strengthened, so much so that former volunteers concerned in Poland and Germany have helped the permanent staff in Loulé to come up with this idea.
The vans would ideally be driven by Polish/German-speaking nationals, so they could help with the whole effort.
The duration envisaged is a stay in Poland of approximately one month.
Said a statement from the charity today, daily reports of this incredible crisis described “dozens of families in need of help as well as reports of animals being left behind”.
We’ve all seen the heartwarming images of people struggling with their belongings and carrying small dogs and cats in carriers. But for those with larger animals, the chaos and logistics of keeping them in the developing humanitarian drama have been overwhelming.
ARA’s plan is therefore to send a team to Poland where it will reunite with former volunteers, “assess immediate humanitarian needs (with particular emphasis on refugee children), as well as animal welfare needs”.
The aim is to help as many children as possible by acquiring basic necessities and/or traveling to Poland and beyond.
On the animal welfare front, ARA will support the work of national and international NGOs such as Fundacja ADA, DIOZ Dolnośląski Inspektorat, Ochrony Zwierząt, Schronisko Pegasus in Poland and PETA in Germany.
To maximize impact, ARA is now actively fundraising to support its efforts in four key areas:
- Van rental in Poland: “a more cost-effective way to expand the network of volunteers in the field” than driving vans from Portugal.
- Purchase of food, medicine and other basic necessities (diapers, hygiene products, etc.), for children and animals.
- Help local shelters meet their immediate needs.
- Contribute to current expenses (gas, food, etc.).
Today’s press release highlights that ARA is “tremendously grateful for the support it has received from its Workaway Network and wants to be able to make a difference in these exceptionally difficult times.”
The scope and impact of the plan will depend on the amount of money that can be raised.
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