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Busser Til Ukraine 4 (1)

10 Ukrainian Buses Depart from the Port of Aarhus to Ukraine

November 14th, 2023

According to Google Maps, it's 1,331 kilometers from the port center at the Port of Aarhus to Lviv in Ukraine. It's a long drive, but nonetheless, it was the journey that 28 volunteer drivers, spread across 10 buses, embarked on Friday, November 10th.

The buses were both the means and the destination for the trip. They are intended to help maintain everyday life in the peaceful part of the country while the conflict continues to the east. These buses represent the latest delivery of a total of 20 buses to Lviv, a feat achieved through the collaboration of the Corps Consulaire association of consuls in Aarhus and Aarhus Municipality, thanks to donations from Heartland A/S, Stadt Holding A/S, and Hommelhoff Group A/S.

"For some residents in Lviv, these buses will mean that they can go to work or school and make their everyday life more seamless. I believe the sense of normalcy is crucial for the people in Lviv, and I am glad that here at the Port of Aarhus, we can be a small piece in the big puzzle of keeping their daily lives running," says Thomas Haber Borch, CEO of the Port of Aarhus.

"Just a small difference"

To send them off, 15 Ukrainian children currently attending Ellevangskolen in Aarhus showed up at the Port of Aarhus' main office. There, they sang the Ukrainian national anthem for the volunteer drivers.

And that left an impression on Christian Østergård. He is a retired vice police inspector, but in this context, he was a proud, volunteer bus driver.

"I know that this doesn't save the whole world, but I volunteered because here I could contribute to making just a small difference. It gives me a good feeling in my stomach that I can help someone in need," he says.

Before the buses set off, they received kind words from both Anette Poulsen, 1st Deputy Mayor of Aarhus Municipality, and Port Director Thomas Haber Borch.

But perhaps the most crucial speech came from the Ukrainian ambassador, Vydoinyk Mykhailo, who thanked the sponsors for the buses and offered encouraging words to the Ukrainian children.

"Slava Ukraini," echoed in unison from the 15 children and the ambassador.

The mission proceeded without problems, and on Saturday morning, the buses were handed over at the Ukrainian border. By Sunday evening, the drivers were back home, ready for a good night's sleep.

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Ukrainian children currently attending Ellevangskolen sang the volunteer drivers off. Afterwards, Port Director Thomas Haber Borch distributed candy bags as a thank you for the song.

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Christian Østergård is a retired vice police inspector. He was one of the volunteers who drove a bus to the Ukrainian border.

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The Ukrainian national anthem resonated from the children's voices in the port center before the drivers departed.

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