#STORY Life as a Red Cross worker on the refugee frontline: ‘We lived through a war too’

#AceWorldNews – Nov.30: In Croatia, many volunteers need no prompting to feel empathy for the desperate people passing through their country, but resources are running low

It’s a few degrees above freezing in a refugee camp in eastern Croatia, and an Afghan father thrusts his baby daughter towards a Red Cross worker. Her eyes are teary, his eyes are desperate – and they both shiver in the cold. “Please,” the father says. “Have you got a shirt for my daughter? She only has one layer.”

Jasminka Janković hurries inside her tent and emerges 30 seconds later with a baby’s onesie, a donation from the public. The father thanks her repeatedly, but Janković has already moved on to the next person in the long line – a toddler without any shoes. Janković has to move fast. At this very moment, there must be 30 refugees crowded here, each holding up an underdressed child, hoping that the Red Cross volunteers will have something in their tent to stop their children’s shivering.

Another group of parents will be along in a few minutes – and the flow will continue all night.

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