June 21, 2022

A month without sunlight before moving to Lviv

One of our hostels is home to 40 people who fled Russian aggression: here families have a safe place to stay in Lviv, along with care and counselling from Care in Action, so they can plan their next steps. We would like to thank Razom for Ukraine for financing 40 places at this hostel since May 2022. In total they have funded 4,360 beds for a night!

By staying in touch with the families who live at our hostels we can provide comprehensive support. Children get involved in our "Together" and "STEP" programme activities, and we provide information and advice for adults. Residents can come every day to our "Creative Hub" - a space for creativity and learning. At the hostel sponsored by Razom for Ukraine, two meals a day are provided by World Central Kitchen, which is a great support for families.

Here are interviews from two refugees at this hostel who agreed to share their experiences...

Life without sunlight

“My name is Lesya, I came with my 10 year old daughter Oksana from Horlivka. Our family learned of the horrors of war back in 2014, when we moved to another village where it was safer. But after the full-scale invasion in 2022, it became very dangerous there as well. We lived in the basement for over a month. It was very scary to go out. We didn't see the sun for all of that time.

When the opportunity arose to evacuate, we did not hesitate and agreed to leave. Honestly, I didn't know where we were going. We were told that we were going to Lviv, which made me very happy, because I knew that it was much safer there. The road was very difficult, many checkpoints passed where unknown people checked our documents. We travelled for almost four days to get to Lviv. There at the station we met Sergei from "Care in Action". He put us in a hostel. Conditions are good, and we have meals here as well.

When we ran away from home, we took almost nothing with us, just what we were wearing. Little by little we got used to Lviv. We do not know how our life will turn out in the future. We want to live in Ukraine and return home. I sincerely thank Lviv for the reception and all the people who help me and my daughter so sincerely and in good faith. I always tell my daughter that God is in the world and that He cares about Ukraine as much as we all do.”

People should not be left alone with the war

“My name is Lydia. I have two beautiful daughters, who are 4 and 7 years old. We came from Slovyansk. We had many dreams and plans. In our city, trouble started in 2014: people with machine guns attacked. I was a minor then, I didn't believe it was serious. My mother called me and told us we had an hour to leave. We left Slovyansk, but not as far as we travelled now.

“It was quiet in Slovyansk until February 24, 2022, when we learned in the morning that people were fleeing our city. We did not leave immediately. I thought the danger would soon be over. I prayed that everything would be fine with us. Fortunately, we found an opportunity to leave – it seemed that a guardian angel looked out for us. We ran away, but there are still relatives with whom we have not had contact for more than three weeks. We don't know if they are dead or alive.

“It hurts me to hear my eldest daughter's questions and it's hard to find an answer: "Mom, do you remember our big house in Slovyansk? Russian tanks passed by and fired: Ba-bah! And then the houses burned down, and the people ran away ... Dad protects us, right? He will tell the Russians "No, no, no…" and they will run away. And he will protect us so that no one shoots at us” ... What should I say to my daughter?

“We are so happy that we got to Lviv because we didn't want to go abroad. I just couldn't handle it. I am sincerely surprised by how Ukrainian people have come together to help. Lviv, we will never forget that. And we will especially remember "Care in Action" - these people and their work are invaluable to us. I am glad that we met them. They gave us a new breath and hope that everything will be GOOD. I am happy because my children are having fun in the creative and educational center, and thanks to Care in Action, I got a job as a children's educator.”

Thank you for standing with us

We greatly appreciate every donation: thanks to you we can implement new ideas to support families with children who have fallen victim to Russian aggression in Ukraine. People are depending on us here in Lviv to create a safe environment for internally displaced persons, in which they can recover from their experiences and start building plans. Thank you for financing shelter and care.


*To learn more about refugees who we have provided shelter to, please see:

* For security reasons, people's names have been changed and the photos do not match the stories described. However, all photos are taken at the hostel that this article is about. The hostel name and address are also not mentioned for security reasons.

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