Grads cut holiday short to help desperate refugees in Budapest
‘There were pizza boxes for beds’
A pair of North East students have abandoned holiday plans in order to remain in Budapest to aid stranded thousands of stranded Syrian refugees.
Aidan Pangarry and Ridley Browell were enjoying three weeks travelling around Europe, but were heartbroken as they witnessed a highly overcrowded makeshift Syrian refugee camp in the Hungarian capital.
The Northumbria grads posted a heartfelt message on Facebook to reach out to family and friends, as they made the decision to stay and help the desperate escapees.
They came across some atrocious circumstances, such as one family sharing a bottle of water between four and many others sleeping rough. As a result, the pair felt inclined to stay and aid in any way they could.
Aidan said: “We sort of knew the crack before we got there as we to get on and off trains coming in to Budapest.
“But when we got there, there were people trying to jump on trains, police everywhere and generally a lot of mayhem.
”When we went down to get the Metro, there was a pop-up refugee camp, pizza boxes for beds, kids sleeping rough, families with one bottle of water and no government response or aid.
“Rid and I got to the hostel and just said ‘we’ve got to go back and help these people with the little money we had, so we ended up putting up the status.
“It has just snowballed, and we want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has shared, liked or donated so that we were able to make a little bit of a difference.”
The two lads have been flooded with aid from family and friends on Tyneside as they raised £800 in a few days. This has been spent on much-needed supplies, medical care, clothes and sanitary items that have been received with huge gratitude by the refugees.
They fly back from Berlin tomorrow, but the compassion shown by the North East pair to so many despairing people, means that they are certain to come home to a heroes’ welcome.