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Hug if you like Ukraine💙💛
September 07, 2022

In July 2022, a charity event in favor of Ukraine was held in the center of Warsaw. The motto of the campaign was the phrase “Hug if you support Ukraine.”

Almost all Life & Peace Foundation volunteers are Ukrainians who left their homes after the 24th of February 2022. We talked with them and found out what the first days after the start of the war were like.

  • My name is Anna; I am 16 years old. I came to Poland from the city of Mykolaiv.

The situation in my country is challenging, so I want to help people who are now on the territory of Ukraine. I want to do good.

On February 24th, I was at home. I came home from work in the evening and went to bed. At 4 a.m., I woke up from an explosion not far from my house. I immediately ran to my mother. She was getting ready for work.

We thought it was the pyrotechnics at work and again went to have a rest. However, after 20 minutes, everything happened again, and the windows of our house began to tremble. We collected the documents and went to the village.

  • My name is Ekaterina; I am 18 years old.  I came to Poland from the city of Rivne.

On February 24th, more precisely, on February 23rd at 3 am, I was supposed to go to Kyiv.  Ten minutes before departure, I canceled the booked trip with the driver.  We called and said that I couldn’t go.  I returned home and went to bed.  However, two hours later I woke up because I heard explosions, the sound of an alarm siren … my mother called me and told me the most terrible message in my life: “the war has begun in Ukraine.”

I did not know then that I would soon go to Poland.  I also didn’t think I would have to leave my home, family, relatives, and friends.  I didn’t know that I would leave everything behind and go to Poland, where I would start my life from scratch, or how often “life from scratch” is repeated in my country.

We drove through checkpoints, were stopped, and asked about everything possible and impossible … but, thank God, we managed to get to a safe place, and everything was fine.

  • My name is Daria; I am 15 years old. I came from Kyiv. I have been in Poland for four months now.

On February 24, I woke up from the scream of my parents. At first, I couldn’t understand what was going on. I did not hear the sounds of explosions, but after a minute, I understood that this was the beginning of the war. We began to prepare; we thought we might go to Lviv because we have relatives there. However, in the end, we decided to go where my mother works because there was a shelter there.

We came and lived there for two weeks. One day my brother’s teacher was planning a trip to Poland. My parents found out about this and decided to go with him. Dad was hysterical; mom was crying very hard, because, at that time, the Zhytomyr highway, which we were supposed to go along, was under fire all the time. But we had to go.

The driver picked us up, we got on the bus and left. I remember a curfew, and we spent the night in the Khmelnytsky kindergarten. We slept on mattresses. There were tiny children’s mattresses. It was freezing, so we all slept in jackets.

  • My name is Margarita; I am 17 years old. I am from Melitopol.

I am only 17 years old and have to leave the house. How was the first day of the war? It was that moment when you woke up and heard from your mother: “pack your things, the war has begun!”.

Understanding that you are doing good deeds and can thus make someone happy in this difficult hour for everyone gives me a lot of strength to act and help further.

  • My name is Artur; I am 16 years old.  I come from the city of Lyman.

On February 24, I woke up and heard explosions.  I couldn’t just sit and watch my friends die.  I wanted to help my country.  I understood that I would not be allowed to participate in the battles at the front.  I went to the military commission on the second day of the war.  They said they don’t accept people like me – there were a lot of applicants.  Then I realized how brave Ukrainians are.