Skip to page content

Ivanna and Nina

Family Voices

Ivanna and Nina

Nina* is five-years-old. When she hears an air raid siren, she runs to the bomb shelter, crying, “Tell the man to stop shooting. Grandmother, how long will they continue to shoot?”

On 24th February 2022, Ivanna was planning to go to work as normal, but she woke at around 5am to the sound of bombing. Even as she filmed the explosions from her window, she couldn’t believe what she was witnessing. Suddenly there was an explosion very nearby and the windows began to shake, so she grabbed some important documents, some clothes, and headed to the school’s bomb shelter with her neighbours. From then on, this is where she slept, making make-shift beds out of tables and blankets. It was very cold, but felt safer than being at home.

A rocket fell onto the roof of Ivanna’s house, but fortunately it didn’t explode. However, bomb fragments destroyed part of her daughter’s home. The family had been drying clothes on the roof, and when they retrieved them they were full of holes. “Thank God, at the time of the explosion the family wasn’t on the roof,” says Ivanna.

Ivanna’s daughter had to stay to work, but Ivanna left for a safer area in Ukraine with five-year-old Nina and her sisters, aged 15 and 10. “Attacks began at midnight, with projectiles flying overhead,” Ivanna explains. “We had to suddenly wake the children, wrap them up and run together to the shelter. The children were very scared. It happened many times, so I decided to leave with the children.”

The family are now staying near relatives, which gives them some comfort. “I can only imagine how hard it is for those people who had to escape to somewhere unfamiliar,” says Ivanna, “It’s doubly hard for them.”

Ivanna had been planning to return home with her granddaughters, but when infrastructure began to be destroyed, they had to change their plans. “There is often no electricity, no heating there,” she says. “It doesn’t make sense to go back.”

“We wish that nobody should have to experience such circumstances,” Ivanna says. “Lumos helps us very much, and we are very grateful to you for caring about us. Lumos’s helps is really meaningful; it inspires us and shows that we are not forgotten, but united together. Your help heats up our souls.”

Discover how the largest appeal in Lumos's history helped children with emergency assistance when they needed it most, and how you can support our work for 2023.

*Names changed.