Olena Vovchuk from Kharkiv
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Good day! On February 24, my family, like many other families in Ukraine, woke up to explosions. It was Thursday morning, my son was supposed to have a Ukrainian language test. We prepared a lot for this test, worried. My child was very worried and afraid. But it turned out that this is not the worst thing that can happen in life. Unfortunately, our children realized this early. 24 in the morning it was not clear to anyone what to do. Where to run? Is it safe to run somewhere? We started calling relatives and friends. We lived, we live and I hope we will continue to live in our private house. Fortunately, we had a basement, and we immediately went there with our parents, husband, child, and pets. We sat there for two days, the communications were still working and it was possible to warm up. Then they cut off our electricity. Our water, light, and heating depended on electricity. Fortunately, there was a pond in our yard, from where we took water and ice. We used ice to make a refrigerator where we stored food leftovers. Our district is located at the entrance from Belgorod, it all started with us. There was heavy shelling. It was not possible to leave or go out to shops or pharmacies. Once we made such a mistake and went out with my husband, but in front of us were burning military equipment and it was very scary. We decided that somehow we would live without food. I divided the leftover food among everyone, and of course, gave it to the animals as well. I also shared food with my neighbors, it united people on our street. I met many people whom I did not know before. In 2 weeks there was an opportunity to leave, and my child and I went to the west of Ukraine. There we issued documents as internally displaced persons. It was expensive to live there, so we moved to Poltava. We did not receive payments due to a registration error. Before the war, I worked with my husband. But I lost my job. The child is 13 years old. While we were sitting in the basement in Kharkiv, he held his own like a real man. When we left, and our relatives stayed at home under shelling, then his childish psyche was disturbed. But we persevered. Now I know for sure that my son is my support. It is difficult for us. Many usual things had to be lost. We hope that one day we will be able to give children back their lost childhood. I receive humanitarian aid with food, but there are certain difficulties with this. We rent housing with the funds we had. But it is getting more and more difficult for us. We pay for housing and utilities, the heating season is ahead. Winter is not a period for people without money. We need financial help the most, there is still a grandmother living with us, who managed to be taken out of the then still occupied town of Balakliya. She did not receive a pension in the occupation. Before the war, the postman brought her a pension. We are very short of funds to pay rent, clothes, and medicine for my grandmother. We see the future of Ukraine as Ukrainian, not otherwise. Ukraine is indivisible, it is not even discussed. We believe in the best. The world should hear about the fact that there is such a country – Ukraine. Once I had to hear that we were confused with Uruguay and Uganda. I was uncomfortable. It’s a shame that the world found out about us in this way. They should know what Ukraine is, who Ukrainians are, and what kind of people we are. We will endure. I am most afraid for my child’s future. I want my child to study and grow up in Ukraine, Ukrainian Ukraine. We believe that Ukraine will prosper and become even better.