University of Bayreuth, Press Release 028/2022 dated 07.03.2022
Students organise relief action - 31 vehicles set out
Between Tuesday and Saturday, several thousand removal cartons filled with relief goods were sent to the border region near Lublin (Poland) by volunteers from Bayreuth. From there, further distribution to the interior of Ukraine was organised.
The terrible war in Ukraine began overnight between Wednesday and Thursday. The whole world was in a state of shock. But just a few hours later, behind the scenes at the University of Bayreuth, preparations were already underway. Eight female students from Ukraine had the idea of organising the transport of relief supplies. Nicolai Teufel, head of the Learnopolis.net cooperation project at the University of Bayreuth's Continuing Education Centre for Higher Education, knows the students and the Ukraine. Moreover, he is a supporter of the idea and has connections to aid organisations on the Polish-Ukrainian border.
Prof. Stefan Leible, President of the University of Bayreuth, was taken with the idea and the students' commitment, and already pledged the University's help over the weekend. The first meeting took place on Monday morning. By Monday afternoon, everything was in place: the room for collecting and sorting was determined, helpers were sought and found, and even the first vehicles which could already be dispatched on Tuesday, were made available.
And then the private student initiative "Ukraine Aid" took its course. Starting Tuesday morning at 10 am, donations in kind were accepted at the Glashaus, then sorted and packed accordingly. Two cargo vans left the campus as early as on Tuesday evening. "The willingness to help that we felt from students, but also from the people of Bayreuth, was simply overwhelming," says Leible. "And the willingness of Bayreuth businesses to provide vehicles and cartons is, naturally, not a matter of course either. Without this support, the relief operation would not have got off the ground."
A total of 31 vehicles were loaded in five days. About 130 pallets (equivalent to four truckloads) are still waiting to be transported this week. They are currently at the logistics company Wedlich, which has shown great support throughout the campaign, making vehicles available and donating more than 2000 removal cartons.
Nicolai Teufel, who is very well connected with the Ukraine via Learnopolis.net and privately, is most impressed by the work that has been done over the past week. "There were so many volunteers every day, ready to pack relief goods late into the night. It is simply incredible how much solidarity Bayreuth has shown with the Ukraine," he says.
In the coming days and weeks, the University of Bayreuth, together with the Research Funding Unit, and the International Office, will focus on helping researchers and students from the Ukraine arrive in Bayreuth.
Tuesday, 1 March: 30 volunteers spend ten hours packing around 500 sorted removal cartons, and two cargo vans are sent on their way fully packed on the first evening of the collection campaign
Wednesday, 2 March: from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. volunteers sorted and packed, five fully packed vehicles were sent on their way, and the first teams had already come back for more
Thursday, 3 March: more than 80 people packed from 9am to 11pm, and six vehicles were sent out
Friday, 4 March: around 100 helpers were on the job, readying nine fully packed vehicles
Saturday, 5 March: the Glashaus was restored to its "pre-action condition" inside and out, nine vehicles were sent out, while 130 pallets were still waiting to be dispatched