Trucking Heroes! Internet lorry drivers raise 100k to help stranded Iranian trucker
Polish Internet-users have rallied round to help an Iranian man whose lorry broke down while driving in Poland.
Many of them include other drivers who were moved by the man’s story and wanted to help him get home safely.
Fardin Kazemi had been using an American International 9670 lorry from the 1980s to deliver goods from Poland.
But after over 30 years on the road, the vehicle broke down on a road near the city of Częstochowa, in southern Poland.
The battery and engine refused to work.
As news of the breakdown spread, drivers came forward to help the man, who was stranded far from his native Iran.
He was given food and somewhere to sleep.
A Facebook page with the name “Help International – Polski Kontyngent Pomocy Irańskiem Kierowcy” (Help International – the Polish Contingent of Assistance for the Iranian Driver) was created to help him.
To enable Kazemi drive back to Iran, the Polish online community, including mechanics and translators from Farsi, thought about helping him repair the lorry, replace its engine or buy a new vehicle.
After deciding on the third option, they set out to raise 99,000 złoty (23,000 euros).
Within less than 24 hours, the amount had been raised, with over 2,000 people donating.
At the time of writing, this amount had more than doubled to over 228,000 złoty, with over 5,300 people contributing to help Kazemi.
The donors include transport companies and individuals, with many donations of 500 or even 1,000 złoty.
“I have been to Iran 4 times, I have always been treated with great respect and hospitality,
“I am glad that we Poles can also be helpful,” wrote a woman in the comments on Polish fundraising platform zrzutka.pl, where the money was raised.
Some comments noted how Iran welcomed Polish refugees during World War II. Other users wished the driver a safe journey home.
The type of lorry will be based on how much money is raised, according to the post on the platform.
“Our Iranian guest will receive the vehicle, return to [his] country on it and will be able to continue his work there,” it stated.
A thank-you note at the end of the post thanks the Polish nation for “hospitality, humanity and help”.