Vitalina is 36 years old and is from Skvyra, near Kyiv. She is here with her 2 sons, Sviatoslav, aged 3 and Artem, aged 10. Vitalina is an English teacher and before the war she worked at a primary school in her town. She told us that until she left Ukraine, she spent most of the nights in the shelter. They always had their luggage ready to go and when the alarm sounded, at night, they had to run away with the children to take shelter.
She says that it was very difficult for the children, they were scared and her youngest son did not understand why he could not sleep in his bed. On March 7, together with her sister and their children, they left, in their own car, to the west, without having a plan of where they want to go. Then they looked at the map and decided to go to the nearest border. After they crossed the border into Poland, a volunteer gave them a piece of paper with the address of this center and not knowing anyone in Poland, they came to the center. She is very grateful to the people here, who welcomed her. Her husband stayed in Ukraine. He works on the production line of a food factory.
He wanted to join the soldiers, but his boss didn't let him go, his boss said that it would be more useful for his country if he helped the factory to continue working. Vitalina's mother also came here after a month but she couldn't settle in, she said she misses her house and her garden so she returned to Ukraine. Vitalina's sister left to England with her 14-year-old daughter.
I cried a lot, says Vitalina, we have relatives in Russia, who called us at the begining and told us that there is no war, that we, Ukrainians were fighting among ourselves... while we were hiding from bombs in shelters.
Now, says Vitalina, we are calm and secure, the eldest boy goes to school, the youngest to kindergarden. Vitalina continues to teach online classes for children in Ukraine, but she also teaches English at a nearby kindergarden.
She shows us with great joy and gratitude the room, where she lives together with her two sons. It is a large room with three windows, it has 4 beds, on which the children's toys are placed. It even has a TV, a refrigerator, two carpets and some shelves that serve as a wardrobe, all received from the people in the community.
She is very grateful and wants to thank those who give her children the chance to live an almost normal life.
For the future, Vitalina wants peace, not only in Ukraine, but in the whole world. She says: I want this stupid war to end and all the soldiers to return home to their families. No one has to die anymore!
She is waiting for the day when they will all return home, in their own country, and help rebuild Ukraine.