It is well known: extreme situations often bring out the best, but also the worst in everyone. And the situation that has been affecting Ukraine since Thursday, February 24, is no exception. As international solidarity organizes to welcome the Ukrainian people trapped in the hell of war, stories of “selective solidarity” multiply. Students and families from Africa have been reporting for a week how their escape is being hampered by the prevailing racism. For them, reaching Poland to get to safety is (even more so) an obstacle course. Touched by the disarray of his “unloved” refugees, Merlin Tchinde decided to rent a bus to repatriate them to Warsaw.
“When a bomb falls, the bomb doesn’t choose whether you’re Ukrainian, African, or European! † simply says Merlin Tchinde. On February 25, he decided to use his car to examine the extent of damage at Medyka, a border post between Poland and Ukraine.
“I noticed on the spot that there were Africans who had no means of transport”he tells Konbinic in a movie. He offers a woman and her child to drive them to Warsaw, where associations can take care of them.
“To do seven hours of one-way traffic, and seven hours to return to repatriate three people is not enough. This is why I decided to rent a 50-seat bus at my expense to transport as many Cameroonians or Africans as possible”specifies Merlin Tchinde to the BBC†
Discover his story in video:
In the end, the engineer, educated at the Warsaw Polytechnic, managed to repatriate several dozen people to the Polish capital. An admirable outpouring of solidarity that restores faith in humanity.