Image (above): Gabriela Rosus from HHC with the family of Julia Pisarenko (from Kharkov) who holds Artem, her youngest son, in her arms (c) Hope and Homes for Children/Mircea Restea
The war has caused millions of Ukrainians to flee their homes and seek refuge in areas where the situation is more or less ‘safe’.
Our team has already evacuated 63 vulnerable children and families from an orphanage in Dnipro. Staff still remain in Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk, providing support to internally displaced persons.
So far, we have provided assistance by providing hygiene products, soft inventory (mattresses, bed linen, towels, blankets), and disposable tableware to over 100 families. These are families who have arrived in the region and without current further travel arrangements. In addition, we’ve provided assistance to over 350 refugees.
Here are the stories of some of the children and families affected.
"Just a month ago, we had been a happy family, had a business, a home. Now everything has changed. The shelling, sirens, fires have started. You are lying in bed and you hear the planes flying. On 4 March, our grandmother died. Old woman, darling, good. My son, who is 14 years old, had to dig her grave. She was born during the war, and died during the war. First, people were buried when there was an opportunity, where we could. Now, human bodies are lying on the streets in the open air. On 17 March 2022, we managed to get out. We are staying with relatives… sleeping on the floor, homeless."
“We survived 2014. We knew how it was. But now everything is on a much larger scale. Quite different weapons. We left in a hurry. We took a backpack with children's things and documents. I lost my job. I lost my home. I don't know what will happen to him [my husband]. I hope for the best, I hope that the children will be safe."
"We were very lucky; our friend had 2 minibuses, and he wanted to take them out of the city. So my husband got behind the wheel and we left. There are 2 roads for leaving the city, and you do not know which one to choose. There was black smoke in front of us. The military said that maybe the enemies had already finished shooting, and we could take a risk that they would not shoot us. So we took the risk. Now we're living with acquaintances. There is nothing in it, but we are alive and well."