What is human life? How does it pass? We are born, we grow, we learn, we develop, on our way we meet with diffrent people, we form relationships, we work… And we get into the flow of everyday life without thinking that something extraordinary can happen and shake this familiar everyday cycle of life. Until the war no one ever expects happens. The war that sows death and changes lives in a fraction of a second: by yesterday you were going to work, and your biggest problem was your groceries list and what to cook for dinner for your family, and today you have already lost loved ones, you find yourself in another country and you have to start all over again, as all your laidout plans and achievements are destroyed by the bomb that hit your home.
That’s how we met Alyona, who is from the village of Kamyenka, Ukraine. She is one of those women who inspire you with the energy of her presence, because she is tenacious and looks fear straight in the eyes without giving it time to take over and paralyze her. She is one of those people who gather themselves in the moment of panic and instead of freezing in place, they quickly set about returning their lives to the familiar normal framework. She says that she can’t leave herself in the hands of fear even for a day, because of her three children and their need for normality.
After the start of the war, Alyona, her husband, their children and other members of her family – one of her sisters and her kids – fled to Bulgaria. They stayed for two days in a hostel, and on the third they have already rented an apartment. Knowing that their resources would soon run out, Alyona’s husband immediately found a job at a construction company, where he still works today. Their next priority is to enroll the children in school and daycare. Faced with the problem of insufficient places in daycare, she found a solution by turning directly to the institutions in Bulgaria, which managed to find a place for her youngest child. Immediately after that, she started working in a restaurant, and when the family’s income stabilized, they singed up the children for swimming, dancing and soccer classes. Alyona told us that she is proud of them and the way they deal with challenges every day; with their spirit and their desire to constantly help others. Any person would be proud to see such strength in their child, and we see the imprint of their mother in them. When asked if she needs clothes, she says: “I make sure my children have everything they need, as for me and my husband, we get whatever is left.”
But Alyona’s story is not all fireworks after a rain of tears, ashes and falling plaster. There are many difficulties and problems in it that would break any person. This energy generator, who gives electricity to her entire family, has diabetes and Cushing’s syndrome, which diseases require systematic medical care and follow-up. Because of the latter, she must return briefly to her native Ukraine, from where she can request the transfer of her medical records. She told us that on the one hand this scares her, as the situation there is not improving, but it is also an opportunity to see her relatives who are still there. She sincerely hopes to be able to bring her third sister and her four kids to Bulgaria where they can be enrolled in a school for children with special needs, as two of her nephews have hearing impediment and her niece is has impared vision. The youngest child of Alyona’s sister, with whom they came to Bulgaria together, has anal atresia, which also requires medical care and additional funds. The child is only 6 years old, and he is already disabled…
We asked Alyona how she manages to keep her spirit and not lose her courage, despite everything she has experienced so far and everything she struggles with on a daily basis. Her answer was short and clear: “With a lot of faith.” No matter what happens to us, one must believe in the good – whether it is in one’s own powers and abilities or in some higher power, faith is that magical ingredient that turns you into a hero who cannot put up with injustice and bad circumstances.