2 backpacks and 40 cardboard boxes




-From Sant Sadurní to Ukraine- 

This is the story of a journey towards Ukraine’s border in the midst of the Russian Ukrainian war, entailing the narrative of five individuals who managed to flee from the horrors of the conflict and are now residing in Barcelona. Like theirs, there are millions of stories, but this is ours.

Barcelona – Montecarlo / 686 Km / March 11



The journey was improvised in less than 24hrs and it kicked off in a small garage in the municipality of Canyelles on Friday, March 11th. There we loaded the van with all necessary and urgent items needed in Ukraine; medicines, food, and clothes all neatly classified and labeled in boxes. 

We had a clear objective; go to Slovakia to pick up an adult couple whose daughter was waiting for them in Barcelona and look for three other people to fill the van up with and bring to back to a safe haven. 

Departure from Barcelona – 40 boxes with medicines, food and clothes.

We had a total of 21 and a half hours, a total of 2178 km ahead. We left at noon on Saturday the 12th, and after a 7-hour journey we decided to rest in Montecarlo at a good friend’s house to rest and recover for the upcoming journey leading to the Slovak Republic.


Montecarlo – Bratislava / 1229 Km / March 12 


The next morning after almost 16 hours of travel, we arrived in Bratislava, Slovakia. There the elderly couple was waiting for us ready to travel to Barcelona where they would stay with their daughter. Excitedly, they reached over to give us a warm hug filled with gratitude. 

According to the newspaper El País: “More than 10 million people, one in four in the country, have abandoned their homes. They don’t have a home to return to”. We got back in the van, now with the elderly couple and continued the route in search for refugees to pick up. We were able to locate a mother with two children who wanted to go to Barcelona where a friend was waiting to give them asylum. 

We now made our way to Krakow, Poland where the family was waiting for us. The adult couple would wait for our return in Bratislava.


Bratislava – Krakow / 455 Km/ March 14 


We spent the night in Bratislava with the main objective of going to Krakow the following morning where Yulia, the mother of two children (a five and three year old), remained hopeful while waiting for us. After endless kilometers we finally reached the Polonaise city. 

Inside the van on the way to Barcelona

The next morning, we met Yulia. A slender young woman with blond hair who was accompanied by her son and daughter by the hand. Scared, almost paralyzed looks, friendly smiles and sad eyes met ours with a certain mistrust. The children’s prodigious trust in their mother protected them from the ongoing horror, pain, and grief of the war. They got into the car and slowly we started to exchange some words, little by little gaining their trust. 

Krakow – Piemonte / 2465 km / March 15


Already on our way back, we had dinner and slept at the hotel of the Ceretto winery in the La Langhe region, in Piemonte. They have been producing wine since the 1930s and are also our distributors in Italy. Together with chef Enrico Crippa, they are the founding members of the Piazza Duomo restaurant, the only one in Piedmont with three Michelin stars.

The Ceretto family welcomed and hosted us. For a few hours the children were able to really be children again. It was the most gratifying feeling to watch them playing with the children of the owners of the domaine. They did not need to speak the same language, they understood each other without wanting to understand each other.


Piemonte – Barcelona / 978 km / March 16


 Wednesday March 16th we all arrived to Barcelona. The group parted its ways. The older couple moved in with their daughter. We accompanied Yulia to Barceloneta where a fellow Ukranian friend welcomed her family. After attempts to find out more about what she needed, she admitted to us: “I’m not used to asking… but I would need clothes”.  

The following weeks we were in constant contact with her. We reached out to friends and family and altogether loaded three suitcases with clothes, towels, sheets, hygiene products, meals products and formalities.

Upon their arrival, the family has now been able to enjoy the first sunny days near the sea, stroll through the Barcelona Zoo, and are currently enjoying the first days of spring in the city. However, the uncertainty of an early return poses new challenges for them. 

Faced with the difficulty of working and being able to care for her children at the same time – and faced with the urgent need to earn some money – Yulia has started to cook cakes that she sells to individuals, on request. If you want to try some delicious cakes and help at the same time, check out her Instagram account @cakes_in_Barcelona

Both the adult couple and Yulia are extremely grateful and happy to be safe, nevertheless still wishing to be able to return to their land and thus be reunited with their loved ones. 

 This is our story, that of a journey with meaning, a journey that has helped 5 people, a small but purposeful drop of water out of a large sea that has given us much more in return than what we ourselves have given in order to help. 

A small drop of water out of a large sea that has given us much more in return than what we ourselves have given in order to help.

Pepe Raventós, Manuel Raventós (Pepe’s youngest son), the elderly couple, and Yulia with her two children once they arrived to Catalunya.

In order to help Yulia don’t forget to support her small business by ordering her delicious home made cakes!

By requesting some, you will be aiding this family who escaped the horrors of war in their home country.

For more information follow @cakes_in_ barcelona



We want to acknowledge and give out a big thank you to everyone who helped make this journey run smoothly. From close friends, to Pere Amat gas station, the directors of the Canyelles warehouse, Federico Ceretto and his family.




Below are links where you can find more information on the subject, NGO’s who are involved, and contacts to be able to make donations.

You will also find contacts in Barcelona who help refugees by giving them food or aid.


Donate to Save The Childen

Donate to Cruz Roja Española

Donate to World Central Kitchen

Donate to UNIFEC-  Ucrania



Donate to ACNUR




Si conocéis algún refugiado que necesite ayuda, aquí podéis encontrar varias páginas.

Comida para personas refugiadas:

>> https://bcn-helps.square.site

Actividades gratuitas para refugiados:

(ayuda psicológica , búsqueda de empleo, cursos de idiomas)

 >> https://t.me/volunteers_bcn

Atención a personas refugiadas:

>> http://www.ccar.cat/es/como-actuamos/atencion-a-personas-refugiadas/

Dónde solicitar protección temporal por el conflicto en Ucrania


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