On Sunday 8 May, First Lady of the United States Jill Biden visited Eastern Slovakia. At the beginning, she went to the Košice Hotspot where on a daily basis the IOM staff provide information and counselling for people from Ukraine who search for a safe refuge in Slovakia.
Dr. Jill Biden with IOM consultants at the IOM infopoint in Kosice hotspot. Photo © International Organization for Migration (IOM) 2022.
The IOM representatives were deeply touched by the meeting with Jill Biden. The IOM consultant Elizabeta, who was an English and German language teacher before the war broke out, could talk personally to the First Lady and share experience with teaching.
At the border point of entry in Vyšné Nemecké, Jill Biden was welcomed by the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Eduard Heger with his wife and other government members. The First Lady expressed an immense interest in the situation at the Ukrainian-Slovak border and in the stories of refugees. She also appreciated the activities of IOM and other organisations.
In a conversation with Jill Biden, the coordinator of IOM activities in Eastern Slovakia Martina Varholik presented the assistance to people fleeing war in Ukraine that the organization has provided since the second day of the conflict. Martina Varholik described the long-term presence at the border as “a lot of work, less time with the family, a lot of sad stories, but we do appreciate especially the great possibilities to help people in these hard times”.