Wednesday evening was filled with joy as 20 Jamaican students landed at Sangsters International Airport in Montego Bay, St. James. The students, who were studying in Ukraine when the Russian Invasion struck, arrived from Frankfurt, Germany.
Fleeing Ukraine in the middle of the war between Russia and Ukraine, the students had faced many drastic difficulties before they arrived home.
A German traveller named Lucas reported that in Frankfurt the students hugged each other as they boarded the plane. He stated that he wasn’t aware of who the students were until they all arrived in Jamaica. Before their arrival, while the students were on the aircraft, the German recalled seeing their faces when the pilot announced their arrival at the destination.
“You could see the relief on their faces, as soon as we were told that we are about to land in Jamaica,” he said.
At Sangster International Airport, the students were greeted by State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Leslie Campbell.
Reportedly, the VIP lounge was only accessible by the state-run Jamaica Information Service for a brief welcome ceremony.
As one of the students was met by her family at the airport, the others were escorted on a bus through a private exit.
The police and airport security escorted the student with relatives to their vehicle that was waiting in the parking lot. The student and her parents, who were all met by reporters outside, declined to give any comments.
The students are also welcomed home by many well-wishers online who have been dedicated to their stories. The student’s predicament of being trapped in Ukraine’s crisis escalated after the government offered them a loan to pay for airline tickets to come back home.
The government later said they are not offering loans and accumulated over $20USD for the students.
Before their arrival, the students spent two days in Poland after walking more than 20 kilometres from L’viv to the Polish border.
Watch video of their arrival in Jamaica below.