“My parents stayed to help and we were taken to safety” – a story of a refugee family from St. Basilʼs School

Vasilisa (5) and Ulyana (9) are very young girls who woke up one morning and saw their mother’s frightened eyes because the war had started. At the age of 5 and 9 they already know where to hide from bomb attacks and how scary rockets sound. It became too dangerous to stay in their city of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region, so the parents sent the girls and their grandmother, Mrs. Tetiana, to Ivano-Frankivsk.

“We didn’t know where we would end up, but we are doing very well here,” – said Tetjana – the grandmother of the two sisters – about the accommodation at St. Basilʼs School. They have been living here for several days and are grateful that they are no longer afraid to fall asleep. The girls miss their parents a lot, but believe their father and mother’s decision to stay to help and fight for Ukraine’s victory was the right one.

“My parents stayed in Avdiivka, but they don’t worry about us anymore because it’s quiet and good here in the high school. We are fed three times a day. And here we go to music and art class where we sing and draw. Yesterday we played on the school grounds looking for a snowman from the cartoon Frozen. It was fun,” – say the two sisters from Donbas.

The grandmother listens to her granddaughters’ stories and says her greatest dream is to end the war and come home. “We long to return to Avdiivka, to our apartment, to our relatives and friends. After all, where else should we go if not home?” says Tetjana hopefully.

The children believe in the victory of Ukraine in the war against Russia and passionately say that the best thing after the war will be the long-awaited time with their parents and the dream trip to the sea.