“In the early days of the war, we were overcome by panic and fear, we didn’t know what to do next.”, Yrina’s story

01 February 2023|JRS Europe

Yrina was living in Odessa before the war started, working as a swimming coach in a sports club.

“In the early days of the war, we were overcome by panic and fear, we didn’t know what to do next.”, she recalls. No one knew where it would have been safe to live or where they would get money to eat.

Yrina and her kids had to wait at the border to enter Romania, and when they arrived, they lived in an apartment with 8 other people. They did not have a job, and they wanted to go back home “But we believed that everything would work out, that we would find kind and helpful people.”

They registered to the JRS program, and since then they received help with housing and vouchers, as well as language courses and educational activities for their children. “With the help of JRS, life is getting better!”, she says.

Yrina hopes the war will be over soon, and she can’t wait to be back home, but she will stay in Romania until then. “We don’t even think about going to other countries, I like everything here. But, of course, I really want to go home.”

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 Yrina. You can read more about The One Proposal: the coordinated Jesuit response to support the Ukraine Crisis here.