Before the war, Martyna was on maternity leave, her son was two years old at that time. A month after the start of the war, she decided to leave Ukraine with her child, mother and sister to Romania. The first city of destination was Brasov. When she left Ukraine, she felt great fear for her future and the future of her family. “I didn’t know if I would see my husband again. My apartment. My city.”, she recalls. She had only heard about Romania that it is a country of kind people who helps Ukrainians in difficult times, so she decided to go there.
Initially, they arrived in Brasov, where they were given a week of accommodation in a guest house and meals. After that, they decided to go to Bucharest. At the time of their arrival (April 1st), many volunteers were working at the Gara de Nord, they were fed and quickly found accommodation. They were placed in a nursing home and provided with food. “The biggest dfficulties were the fact that all this experience (being forced to flee, leaving the dears one behind) is a big emotional shock for adults, but especially for child.”, she describes.
JRS had a huge impact on their life in Bucharest. In the spring, JRS Romania supported them with vouchers, which allowed them to buy the most of necessary things for the child. Then in June she moved into a hotel and was under the care of JRS for a month. Next, JRS rented apartments for more than 6 months for her and her parents. JRS covers utility bills, metro cards, and shopping cards, which she can use to buy food and other things she needs to have a decent life.
“The biggest fear at the moment is the occupation of my region, death of someone from my family who remained in the country.”, she says. Despite all, she hopes in a brighter future awaiting in front of her. Thanks to the support of JRS, her child and her don’t live on the street, they have flat, but most importantly they are safe, they do not tremble from air raid sirens and air defense, at the sounds of explosions. “Thank you so much from all our hearts for your care and support at this difficult time.”, she declares.
JRS is working together with the Xavier Network, Concordia Moldova, the Society of Jesus in Europe, local civil society, and NGOs in a coordinated Jesuit response. Together we help thousands of people like Martyna. You can read more about The One Proposal: the coordinated Jesuit response to support the Ukraine Crisis here.