Hutch Volunteer Days - Andras's Story
Here at Hutch we offer staff the opportunity to spend one day each year taking part in volunteer work of their choice. Game designer, Andras works remotely in Hungary and when war broke out in Ukraine, he wanted to help. We asked him to share his experience of working for the day with Migration Aid and what it meant to him.
On the 23rd of May I volunteered to be a designated driver for a day at Migration Aid - a Budapest based NGO dedicated to help migrants fleeing from war. Originally the organisation was founded to offer aid in the time of the Syrian war and humanitarian crisis back in 2015, but since February 24 (the beginning of the war in Ukraine) they are devoted to helping Ukrainian refugees. They provide translation, food, transport services, programmes for children and most importantly short-term accommodation.
To this day, thousands of refugees cross the border between Ukraine and Hungary every day and more than 14 million people have had to leave their homes. I felt obliged to take my part in helping somehow from the beginning of the war - I sent food and clothes to the border regularly - but I wanted to do more and that’s why I volunteered for Migration Aid.
When I arrived in the morning their shelter was full of people but I had no time to look around as I was the only driver for the day and there was a family of four to be transported to the airport immediately. We hopped in and my 8-hour limbo between the central train station, the refugee shelter and the airport began. I was on the go all day and got terribly tired in the end but I enjoyed every second of it.
Sending food and clothes to people I heard about in the news was totally different compared to lifting heavy luggage to someone standing in front of me or racing the clock to get to the airport. It was shocking to see people leaving everything behind from one day to the next in real life and not just on TV. It was an experience I will never forget and it encouraged me to take part in other volunteer activities in the future.
I’m grateful for Hutch and Migration Aid for this opportunity. It’s just one day in the year (and I just drove a car) but it was a first step I’d maybe never taken otherwise. I hope this short story encourages others to give it a chance and take a day to volunteer.
A big thank you to Andras for sharing his experience.
Migration Aid is a Hungarian NGO located in Budapest only, but if you're based elsewhere and would like to help, you can find out more from Red Cross here: https://www.redcross.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/how-we-support-refugees#You