Ahmed is asleep, wrapped in a blanket, under a tree in Presevo. He is fevered and has a bad cold and his parents are worried about him and his sister. Fortunately the weather is warm and dry, unusually so for late September. Since fleeing their home in north-eastern Syria they have travelled for weeks on foot and by train. Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and now Serbia.
Stopped for a short time, just for a few hours, the family receive bread and cheese provided by Blythswood Serbia in partnership with the local Red Cross. What do they want most? Seats on a bus. Like the thousands of others passing through this border town every day, they are intent on reaching northern Europe, preferably Germany or Sweden.
At the time of writing, Blythswood is not transporting clothes or other aid from the United Kingdom to Serbia. Finlay Mackenzie, Blythswood’s head of projects, says: “Buying food in Serbia is the most efficient way to help right now. The situation there is changing from day to day. Our challenge is to help the Serbian people to provide for the huge number of migrants who are passing through.”
Photo above: having received bread at Presevo, a young migrant continues his journey on foot.
Photo above: just a few months old, Ahmed is oblivious to his status as part of Europe’s largest migration of people since the Second World War.