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Natalia Ibiricu's initiative


28 | 03 | 2022


FotoManuel Castells

Many employees, students and alumni have launched various solidarity initiatives since the conflict between Ukraine and Russia broke out a month ago. This is the case of Natalia Ibiricu, management assistant of Cima Lab Diagnostics, who started a fundraising campaign to take in Ukrainian families in Pamplona.

When and how did this initiative come about?

It all came from a message sent to me by my friend Amaia Cía on the evening of 1 March. The date is important because it shows how quickly something can be done when you receive support from people. In her message she asked me if I would like to accompany her by car to Poland to take basic necessities to the refugees and bring Ukrainian families to Pamplona. After thinking about it for five minutes with my family, I said yes.

But the initial plans changed, didn't they?

We worked out the idea with other friends, Sofía and Elena, and we realised that if we were going to cover so many kilometres, it would be better to travel by bus so that we could bring more people. From then on, everything went smoothly. The people around us were so enthusiastic. Everyone helped in whatever way they could: from creating the crowdfunding platform, spreading the word among their contacts, locating people willing to make the trip, talking to bus companies, or contacting possible host families in Pamplona. The response was impressive, so there was no turning back. We also contacted association Segunda Familia to get them to support us as association.

And finally, on 10 March, the bus left for Poland.

Yes, in only 9 days everything was organised, but thanks to the financial aid of so many people. Otherwise, it would have been impossible. The trip to Pamplona took two days. On 12 March, 53 people left by bus from Warsaw station. Thanks to some friends of the drivers, they were able to spend the night in Tours (France), where a place to sleep had been arranged for them, as well as breakfast and dinner. They could not have behaved better. On the afternoon of the 14th they arrived in Pamplona. 30 of the people who had come had family or acquaintances in Navarre. The rest were taken in by families in Pamplona.

How can you help from now on?

This has only just begun and we can all support and help in one way or another. There is a lot work to do, difficulties along the way, but it is 100% worth it. The generosity of the people is incredible: every day receipt messages from people who offer to welcome and help.

I would like to take advantage of this interview to give special thanks to the Food Bank of Navarre; to Autobuses Urederra, to Miriam, to the drivers, Mario and Paulo Pinto, to the three girls who travelled to Poland in a totally selfless way, Uxúe Apezteguía, Valentyna Golovnia and Leticia Ruiz; to the association Navarra de Empresarios del Metal; to the association Navarra de Empresarios del Transporte, to the association Segunda Familia; to the 357 people who have contributed with their donations; to all the people who have donated clothes, toys, cradles, etc.; to our families and to those families who have donated to the campaign.We would also like to thank our families and those families who have taken in people who have fled the conflict.