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    Tico-Canadian Went To Poland To Help Ukrainian Refugees

    Bruce Callow supports 27-day volunteer work in Poland

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    Within a month of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, freelance writer and consultant Bruce Callow began a very difficult but rewarding adventure in Warsaw, Poland.

    NASA stickers have been a hit in refugee centers in Poland. Photo: Courtesy (Courtesy)

    Callow is Canadian by birth and Tico at heart. He has lived in Costa Rica since 1992 and is married to Ana Luisa Monge.

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    Bruce knocked on doors among his acquaintances and organized everything to go and lend a hand to the thousands of Ukrainian refugees who have had to leave their homeland in search of safety on Polish soil. He traveled to Warsaw on March 23 and since then has distributed his efforts to collaborate on three fronts at once.

    Talks about space shared Costa Rican Canadian with refugee children. Photo: Courtesy (Courtesy)

    Among those who opened the doors touched by Callow is Sandra Cauffman, the Costa Rican engineer who works at NASA and who got him promotional items from the space agency.

    The distribution of these objects among the refugees has been a hit and has helped them joyfully leave behind the hardships they have been experiencing since February 24, when the war began.

    “I talk to people and give them NASA badges and people love them. They get happy and that fills my heart. Doña Sandra organized the donation of about nine hundred stickers and two hundred pins”, she said.

    Bruce, who does this voluntarily, tells us that the atmosphere that reigns in the refugee centers is very strong and that is why it is so valuable to be able to distract them, cheer them up and even make them smile.

    “I have a friend who is a teacher at an international school in Santa Ana and he contacted me with a friend of his here in Warsaw she is giving me accommodation and recommendations for a visiting program and I made some connections with organizations here. himself and with the Canadian Embassy” explained Callow.

    Bruce brought some financial resources to buy food to give to the refugees arriving at the train station. Photo: Courtesy (Courtesy)

    One of the fronts on which he is involved in bringing food and meeting the urgent needs of those who arrive every four hours at the train stations from Ukraine and who are guided to shelters where they can eat or rest.

    The food that he distributes is bought with the resources that he collected in Costa Rica before traveling.

    “With this, I encourage both those who fled their country and the volunteers themselves because it is quite a difficult task. Many of them have been in the war for a month and a week, helping tirelessly,” he said.

    He has also visited schools where there are Ukrainian refugees and even served as a link with a Canadian sponsor so that a Ukrainian family can go live in the northern country.

    “It is at times like these (of war) that one begins to think and appreciate democratic options even more. We human beings like to complain, in reality, democracy is not perfect, but it is the best option”, he commented.

    As Bruce is his boss, he took 27 days to dedicate to his mission, and although he is focused on helping if he has to do any work of his own these days, he does it from Poland.

    He is passionate about the subject

    Bruce came to Tico soil to spend a year participating in a joint program between the University of Calgary and the University of Costa Rica; in our country, he met the love of his life and stayed.

    The issue of supporting refugees has been a passion of his for many years and in his country, he worked with Central Americans who left their nations in search of a better future.

    “When people need support, the international community has to respond strongly,” he says.

    As international media have already reported, many Ukrainians who leave their country do not speak another language, which becomes a barrier when it comes to communicating, but Bruce assures that with a few words in English, and with signs, they manage to understand each other well.

    Callow has slept little until now, between four and five hours, because of the time required by the work she is doing and because she tries to make the most of each day. Despite the satisfaction of helping, he begins to feel the weight of fatigue and emotional burden, so he tries to take his time to walk and rest so as not to “meltdown”, as he has seen happen to volunteers.

    From Poland, Bruce makes a call to the Ticos so that if they know of any organization that he is making collections in our country to collaborate with the Ukrainian families that need it, do not hesitate to help.

    One of the fronts on which he is involved in bringing food and meeting the urgent needs of those who arrive every four hours at the train stations from Ukraine and who are guided to shelters where they can eat or rest.

    The food that he distributes is bought with the resources that he collected in Costa Rica before traveling.

    “With this, I encourage both those who fled their country and the volunteers themselves because it is quite a difficult task. Many of them have been in the war for a month and a week, helping tirelessly,” he said.

    Callow also found a sponsor in Canada for this family to go live in that country. Photo: Courtesy (Courtesy)

    He has also visited schools where there are Ukrainian refugees and even served as a link with a Canadian sponsor so that a Ukrainian family can go live in the northern country.

    “It is at times like these (of war) that one begins to think and appreciate democratic options even more. We human beings like to complain, in reality, democracy is not perfect, but it is the best option”, he commented.

    As Bruce is his boss, he took 27 days to dedicate to his mission, and although he is focused on helping if he has to do any work of his own these days, he does it from Poland.

    He is passionate about the subject

    Bruce came to Tico soil to spend a year participating in a joint program between the University of Calgary and the University of Costa Rica; in our country, he met the love of his life and stayed.

    The issue of supporting refugees has been a passion of his for many years and in his country, he worked with Central Americans who left their nations in search of a better future.

    “When people need support, the international community has to respond strongly,” he says.

    As international media have already reported, many Ukrainians who leave their country do not speak another language, which becomes a barrier when it comes to communicating, but Bruce assures that with a few words in English, and with signs, they manage to understand each other well.

    Being able to make them have a moment of joy and smile is the only reward you need. Photo: Courtesy (Courtesy)

    Callow has slept little until now, between four and five hours, because of the time required by the work she is doing and because she tries to make the most of each day. Despite the satisfaction of helping, he begins to feel the weight of fatigue and emotional burden, so he tries to take his time to walk and rest so as not to “meltdown”, as he has seen happen to volunteers.

    From Poland, Bruce makes a call to the Ticos so that if they know of any organization that he is making collections in our country to collaborate with the Ukrainian families that need it, do not hesitate to help.

    Photo Gallery: Face to face with Ukraine in Warsaw Part I:

    Some of the people I have met here since I arrived on March 23. Bruce Callow

    https://bcallowconsulting.medium.com/face-to-face-with-ukraine-in-warsaw-part-i-448eaaaa6920

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