The Israeli humanitarian aid group IsraAID was involved in the rescue of dozens of refugees off the Greek coast last weekend.
“A boat arrived almost up to the shore when all of a sudden its engine exploded and flipped the boat,” IsraAid founder Shachar Zahavi said in a statement.
“Some of the women, children and babies didn’t know how to swim and our staff immediately jumped into the water to help them preventing them from drowning,” he said, adding, “After bringing everyone onto the shore safely our medical team treated some of the sick and injured while our logistic team distributed food and water to the rest.”
The IsraAID team in Greece helps refugees with food, water, blankets, and even maps with information on their expected journey through Europe. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from throughout the Middle East and Africa have been arriving in Europe in recent months to escape war and poverty.
Meanwhile, IsraAID also has a team stationed on the Serbia-Hungary border, where its workers are distributing slings and baby carriers donated by Israelis to refugee families with babies.
Comparing the current refugee crisis to that during World War II, Zahavi appealed for more people to come and volunteer.
“I hope more people will join us (IsraAID) in reaching out in a helping hand. Our staff is overwhelmed, but we cannot stop now especially as more are on their way,” he said.
Founded in 2001, IsraAID is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that has provided disaster and long-term relief to threatened communities in countries like Jordan, Haiti, Japan, and South Sudan.