Elena* was initially hesitant to leave her home in Ukraine. However, when it became clear that her home city of Odessa was going to be attacked and it wasn’t safe to remain, she and her husband Vasilii made the difficult decision that she would flee to Moldova with their four daughters. Vasilii stayed behind to look after Elena’s mother.
Shortly after arriving in Moldova, Elena gave birth to a little boy, Bogdan. He has never met his father.
The family are now staying at a placement centre with around 40 other refugees. The children have been making friends, but they miss their home terribly.
“We miss our house, our dad, our cats, our dogs, our friends,” says Roxolana (15), Elena and Vasilii’s eldest daughter. “We’re glad we managed to flee before the bombing of Odessa started. We’ve met children who are not that lucky – whenever they hear any loud sound now, they run away looking for a safe place to hide.”
It was winter when Elena fled with her children. Along with other help, Lumos has given the family spring clothes and a pram for little Bogdan.
Roxolana is able to continue her education via online classes streamed from Ukraine. Her sisters are also completing their homework remotely.
Every day they speak to their dad, who misses his children and wants to meet his son in person, not online. They hope they will be able to be together soon.