The war in Ukraine has shocked the entire world. An emergency of this magnitude in Europe right on the doorstep of the European Union has shaken everyone. Many private initiatives are now helping to provide Ukrainians with the most basic necessities. Kögel has just recently supported two aid convoys with its trailers.
One person who does not want to stand idly by and watch the Ukrainians suffer is Alexander Lübbe-Sloan. "I wanted to do something good in view of the terrible news from Ukraine," Alexander reports. Together with some friends and the town of Ochtrup, which is twinned with the Polish town of Wieluń near the Polish-Ukrainian border, he organised a relief convoy. His efforts have born fruit: He collected essential staples from food manufacturers who were willing to donate: baby food from Hipp, dumplings and noodles from Henglein, 700 loaves of bread from the Wiesender organic bakery in Freising, flour from Scheller Mühle and potatoes from the Munich company Koppold.
At this stage, the relief goods still had to reach the unloading point at a school in Wieluń. Luckily, the engineer knows the commercial vehicle industry inside out. His company Truck-Ing based in Paunzhausen, a small town north of Munich, works for a truck manufacturer who lent him a semi-trailer truck.
Kögel in turn provided the refrigerated semi-trailer. Alexander then set off on the collection trip from Munich to Ochtrup. From there, he departed for Poland in a convoy of three semi-trailer combinations and roughly 100 fully packed pallets. The almost 1,000 kilometres from Ochtrup to Poland went without a hitch. "Aid transport is exempt from tolls in both Germany and Poland, and the legislators have also kept the administrative burden to a minimum" Alexander explains. "That made things quite easy for us."
The headmaster of the school in Wieluń very happily received the aid convoy. Numerous volunteers helped to unload the trailer, while a German teacher translated into Polish. "The helpers were overwhelmed by the great willingness to help," Alexander says. After an overnight stay in the hotel, Alexander returned to Germany.
Thomas Tschakert, a member of the Volvo Trucks Germany press office, has already completed two trips to Ukraine in April. He also relied on trailers from Kögel. For his part, he organised the trips in conjunction with the Deutsche Humanitäre Hilfe Nagold (DHHN) (German Humanitarian Aid Nagold). This organisation was responsible for planning the route, as well as for organising some of the relief supplies, such as food, hygiene products and tableware. Thomas collected the rest of the load from his friends and among his own community near Munich.
While he undertook the first trip with his father, commercial vehicle journalist Wolfgang Tschakert, he completed the second with editor-in-chief of Trucker trade magazine, Gerhard Grünig, and Trucker editor Jan Burgdorf. The aid convoy of five trucks travelled to Užgorod, north of the Hungarian border. Both deliveries were very much to the benefit of refugee and orphan aid.
Thomas has already been involved in previous humanitarian emergencies. "I came across reports from crisis regions by Julian Kirschner, founder of DHHN, many years ago. These reports got me thinking and I realized I wanted to help".
Support for Ukraine has arrived, but it is still needed. "The war in Ukraine must not become an everyday occurrence," warns Thomas. To ensure that this does not happen, he is also taking on the dangerous journey to the embattled country. He has not yet experienced any combat himself. However: "We have met countless refugees. They are travelling with only a few belongings. Each of these families represents an individual fate. Mothers with young children talk about the fact that the children might not see their fathers again. That makes me really sad" Thomas explains.
He wants to set off on a third aid trip as soon as possible. He is pleased to get trailers from Kögel again. "It is a matter of honour for us to support such transport," says Thomas Gregor, Division Manager Sales West and Head of Kögel's Rental and Telematics Division.
If you would like to help, you can contact the associations mentioned in the article (among others) or find a list of numerous other trustworthy aid organisations on tagesschau.de, such as the "Deutschland hilft" action alliance:
Together with Humbaur, Kögel’s sister company which is also owned by Gersthofen-based entrepreneur Ulrich Humbaur, Kögel itself has just donated EUR 100,000 to BILD hilft e.V. "Ein Herz für Kinder" (A Heart for Children) primarily to alleviate the suffering of children in Ukraine.