Around 250,000 refugees are temporarily settled in the Lviv region. From the first days of the war, we housed refugees in hostels and delivered aid to refugee camps. In March:
1,636 beds in hostels night helped mothers and children fleeing conflict
6 apartments and a large house allowed 9 families at a time to have a secure place to rest, some for a few days, others for a few weeks
3,500 children and adults received 783 boxes of aid deliveries
February 24th will be forever remembered by every Ukrainian. After that day, 10 million people were forced to leave their homes and seek safety. So far 4 million people went to find shelter in other countries, while there are 6 million people who are displaced in the west of Ukraine, where the situation is less dangerous in comparison to other cities and villages which are almost totally destroyed.
To help children and their parents feel secure we decided to create places where families can have their own living space. In the family center "Your Home", loaned to us rent-free, we house three families, each with their own spacious room. It is important for us to know that these families will be comfortable in the house for as long as they need it, and that there is a safe place for everyone: to cry, to play, to study, to talk and to sleep. We have a "quiet room", where children or parents can have private space for study, work, or personal reasons such as meeting with our psychotherapist.
One of the families living there escaped from Kornyn, in the Kyiv region. Olga is a happy mother to five children: four sons, ages 16, 12, 4 and 3, and a daughter age 7. Previously, Olga had her own sewing studio, and her husband was working as an engineer. They had managed to buy their own house but the war started days before they could move in.
At 6 am they were woken by a call from Olga’s parents, who told them that Russia had invaded; just 15 minutes later they were all running to find bomb-proof shelter as rockets flew over their hometown. For two weeks, the family was under fire and could not leave, and it was only on March 15th that they escaped the horrors of war and came to Lviv.
We got to know Olga at the railway station, where she was standing confused. Alone, with five children, in an unknown city with no friends or relatives. We helped her to settle into one of our hostels, and then to move to our family center, "Your Home." Everyone has their own roles and responsibilities which creates a good routine.
We will soon open a larger crisis centre which will offer shelter for up to 30 children and parents, and provide space for children to play, have art therapy and age-appropriate workshops. In April we will be providing 108 beds each night, at 2 hostels, 6 apartments, “Your House” and our crisis centre.
Olga wishes only for a peaceful sky for her children and hopes that sooner or later she will be able to see her husband, who stayed in Kyiv, and that they will be able to return to their home. Russian soldiers continue to bomb their small town from only 10 km away. Olga’s parents still live there.
Donations make a real difference for refugees like Olga, and will help us equip the new crisis centre, and purchase laptops so children can attend online school. Thank you!