Russia's invasion of Ukraine has resulted in mass exodus of civilians. Among them are thousands of students from Africa, and several of them testify to racism during their flight. In the absence of help for black students in the war zone, they organize their own rescue through Instagram.
By 2020, 76 foreign students were registered in Ukraine, of which just over a quarter were from Africa, according to with the BBC. The largest representation is from the countries Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and Morocco. Now African students are testifying about the mistreatment of Ukrainian officials at the border between Ukraine and Poland.
- They stopped us at the border and said that blacks were not allowed. But we could see white people passing by, said student Moustapha Bagui Sylla from Guinea France 24 news at the end of February.
- More than ten buses came and we all saw them go. We thought that after taking all the Ukrainians they would take us, but they told us that there were no more buses and that we could go on foot, Rachel Onyegbule, a Nigerian medical student in the city of Lviv, told CNN In the beginning of mars.
- My feeling in my body has been numb from the cold, we have not slept in four days now. Ukrainians have been given priority over Africans - men and women - at every opportunity. You do not have to ask us why. We know why. I just want to come home, in Onyegbule while she waited in line to cross the border into Poland.
"There is a lot of discrimination going on there, we had to beg people to take us to the border so we could find a way to escape," Joseph, a computer engineering student, told the International the news channel Deutsche Welle March XNUMX.
Black students organize their own rescue with hashtags
When reports of blacks' abuse appeared, initiatives were launched that organize and lead their own rescue of black students in Ukraine. Collections and information have been disseminated under the hashtags #AfricanInUkraine and #BlackInUkraine.
Organizers who Black Women for Black Lives created a guide that showed which borders were safe and which borders where blacks experienced racism and difficulties. The guide includes accommodation, drivers and contacts when you have crossed the border.
- We quickly realized that students lacked support when they reached the border and crossed, the guide assists with that, says, Patricia Daley, one of the initiators behind Black Women for Black Lives, to NBC News.
Tolulope Osho, 31, was to leave Ukraine and reach the border with Poland, but returned to western Ukraine to help people.
"I help people get out of the war zone, then at the border I also buy their train tickets and pay for their transport," Osho told NBC.
Osho has helped over 200 people and says he has relied on Instagram as a means of communication.
- If I can save more lives by leaving my belongings, I will do it, life is more precious, Osho tells NBC.