Natalia is 36 years old and is from Kropyvnyskyi. She is here with her two sons, Bogdan who is 16 years old and 11 years old Yiaroslav. Her husband and parents remained home in Ukraine. Although he is not fighting in the war, her husband cannot leave the country to be with them. He works as a driver for a private company. She says that her parents are old and do not want to leave their home and country. Natalia worked as a secretary and had a good life before the war. The alarms that sounded every night and the concern for her children led her to leave Ukraine. They left before the war showed all its cruelty, so her children did not get to see the terrible things that are now happening there.
Like many of the young people in this Refugee Center, her son Bogdan is a sportsman, he is registered with a Ukrainian volleyball club. The sports federation provided them with buses to take them to the border. So two weeks after the start of the war, on March 11, they left by car for Lviv, where a bus was waiting for them, and it took them to the border. They crossed the border on foot. There the volunteers offered them food and hot drinks and another bus transported them to Rzeszów. There followed a selection and they ended up in the center where they still live today. For 2 weeks they lived together with several people, in a basement, without toilets or showers, under the swimming pool in the sports complex. Now she has a small room with 3 beds and a table, where she lives with her youngest son. It is a room only for them where, she says, they are happy and safe.
Today, Natalia works in a restaurant, at the kitchen. She says that her colleagues received her very well and that they helped her a lot. The youngest son attends online courses at school in Ukraine, but he also goes to school in Poland. Although she is far from her husband and parents, Natalia said that she is happy. The family from Ukraine is safe, and their sons can go to school and live their childhood in peace, far from war.
What she wants most is for the war to end and to return home. She says, she misses home, all the things she left behind. She advises everyone to fight for their lives and stay close to their family because family is the most important!
Bogdan is a quiet young man. He is 16 years old, is a student and practices volleyball. He talks a little about the past, just says that he misses everything: school, colleagues, his coach, his city. He says he is happy here because he can continue his training. He attends online courses at school in Ukraine, but is also enrolled in high school in Poland. He practices volleyball every day and has many new friends. Bogdan thinks more about the future.
He would like the war to end quickly, to know that his family is well and there is peace in his country, so that he can focus on his future.
He wants to become a great athlete, to play in a top team and earn his living from it.
He encourages all young people to follow their dreams even if for that they have to be far from their home and country.