SSF-Sauveteurs Sans Frontières set up a mission in Medyka, on the border of Poland and Ukraine, to help the refugees and respond to their medical, humanitarian, and psychological problems. This mission has evolved in 5 months, but SSF’s ethics still prevail: to relieve the suffering of its human brothers.
This mission was coordinated in Medyka by a little woman, Ayala Smotrich, 29 years old, a former member of the Israeli Police, and for the past year, a volunteer for SSF. She was extremely efficient in the field and organized everything to carry out this mission. She shared with the refugees very intense moments of anxiety, but also of hope for a better future.
She witnessed the tragedies of women and children arriving in Poland who had been victims of sexual crimes in Ukraine. Yes, child victims of sexual crimes! The teams witnessed the disastrous consequences of these war crimes. They could read the trauma in the eyes of these refugees daily.
We also understood that the care in our big tent was easier when the volunteers were women. And we had many women in our teams…
Ayala also witnessed a tremendous outpouring of solidarity among the hundreds of associations mobilized. But she also heard appalling stories of criminal behavior within the volunteer teams of some associations. Pedophiles and organizers of human trafficking were masked, and unfortunately, they were present in Medyka and everywhere, disguised as volunteers. It is amazing to us that these “volunteers” can infiltrate fragile areas and war zone.
Some human souls feed on chaos. We are mobilized to help the international authorities to find these criminals, so that they are condemned.
The international criminal police organization, commonly known as Interpol, has obviously received many reports of these criminal activities. This organization expressly invited Ayala to Lyon to collect his story and to start a collaboration. Ayala recounts:
“Today I had the honor to visit @Interpol, share my point of view about Ukraine, and tell them about the personal experience I have gained regarding human trafficking and sex crime – while I worked with the amazing @SSF organization.
I deeply believe that in the present, when crimes like this are taking place, the world can’t look aside, and even though I know that I can’t speak on behalf of the victims or change the past, I did the best I could to make a difference.
I hope, with all my heart, that we’re on our way to a big change and hopefully in the future, there will be a formal international program to prevent situations like this from happening.”
We scream at these war crimes committed in Ukraine.
We scream at the crimes committed in Poland, at the misfortune that is accumulating and falling again on the victims of this war.
We remain mobilized for a more just, more human world.