Amir Khan's aid convoy to ease the suffering of refugees in Greece has begun its 2,000 mile journey from the boxing champion's community gym in Bolton to Athens. The seven van convoy, which is carrying donated food, clothes, hygiene items and sleeping bags, departed the two time world champion's home town at 9:00 am today (15 September).
The Caravan is loaded with aid from drop off points in Bradford, Leeds, Manchester, Bolton, Luton, London, and Birmingham collected by the boxer's charitable organisation, the Khan Foundation. Amir Khan said his foundation had teamed up with the Penny Appeal to bring much needed aid to refugees arriving on the shores of Greece with nothing more than the clothes they are wearing.
"It's heart breaking to see images of children losing their lives as their families flee from devastating conflict," he told IBTimes UK in a statement. "What's even more disturbing is knowing that many more lives will be lost unless we provide urgent aid to these refugees who don't have anyone to turn to. I'm just amazed at how many people came together to donate so much and it just shows how generous and kind the British public really are."
After the distribution in Athens, Amir will travel with a group of volunteers to the Island of Lesbos and he will hand deliver more items, with the help of Penny Appeal to which the public have made financial contributions such as food, tents and sleeping bags.
Adeem Younis, Chairman at Penny Appeal, commented: "Every day, refugees arrive on the shores of Europe after surviving a horrendous journey after fleeing from violence and other unspeakable circumstances. The items we can provide will make a real difference, giving people hope as they take the first step on the path towards safer lives. We're delighted to be working with Amir Khan and his Foundation on this life-saving project and call on people across the UK to get involved."
Thousands of migrants and refugees, predominantly from Syria and Afghanistan, have been arriving to Greece's Aegean Islands every day. The influx of people arriving from Turkey has pushed Islands such as Kos to breaking point. Greek authorities have been working with limited resources to move refugees to Athens but with so many arriving, thousands are left stranded.