Day 5 - "It's just people helping people" - Singer Tanya was compelled to come to Krakow to help.
Since being in Krakow I have heard stories about people who have decided to make a big trip to come and help in the cause. Many of these people have got onto planes from the USA, and many more have undertaken huge road trips across Europe.
It is hard not to be a little bit cynical as to the motivations of some of these people - as some seem driven by a thirst for adventure - taking trips into dangerous parts of Ukraine. And some just seem to be feeding some narcissistic desires.
So with that said I was interested to meet Tanya - a singer and former American Idol vocal coach - to understand her motivations. Tanya arrived in Krakow just the week before us - compelled to come after some Ukrainian friends were caught up in the turmoil. "I made a phone call and said I wanted to help. What could I do?"
Not long later Tanya jump on a plane unsure exactly what she would be doing, and how she would be helping.
Photos by Rita Ansone
Tanya has volunteered to work with a foundation house in Krakow, and along with doing any manner of jobs there, has already been into Ukraine a couple of times.
Here is the video we made with Tanya -
Video by Stephen O'Regan
My cynicism for any wrong motivations gave way as we rambled around the foundation house where Tanya now spends most of her time.
The building is actually quite a joyful environment, filled with smiles. Smiles of the children running around your feet and up and down the stairs - and smiles of the volunteers who are admirably holding it all together.
There are up to 200 refugees staying in the foundation house - and from my vantage they were very well looked after.
Fun times at the foundation house / Photos by Rita Ansone
At the foundation house Tanya has struck up a friendship with a woman called Ega who she is now staying with. Tanya didn't expect to be living with Ega, but once off the plane from New York - she was told by one of the organisers where she would be staying. "Oh, ok, I thought. Go with the flow."
Tanya and Ega share a good banter. "We are going on a big challenge. On Thursday we are driving into Ukraine to deliver supplies. It's a girls trip. Girls go to Ukraine.'
Ega and Tanya in the foundation house / Photos by Rita Ansone
I asked Tanya was she nervous driving into a country torn apart by war. I was amazed by how fearless she was. "I'm more nervous doing this interview with you than going into Ukraine."
To some it up Tanya states. "It's just people helping people. It's quite simple really."
Not a bad mantra to go by.
Find Tanya here.
And the foundation house Tanya is working at here.
- Stephen O'Regan