“On February 24, our life completely changed. I will never forget that morning.”, Lavra’s story

01 February 2023|JRS Europe

I will never forget that morning, explosions outside the window. Nastya ran to me in tears, shouting war. All this was hard to believe. It was very scary.”, Lavra remembers vividly. On February 24th, her life completely changed. She Immediately decided to run away from the war with her 2 daughters. They left Odessa for Moldova on February 28. They hoped that everything would be over in a couple of days, that they would return home. Unfortunately, this did not happen, and they arrived in Romania on March 9. They stayed at a family’s house for a week, then a volunteer found them a family that agreed to take them in. “I did not expect that people in Romania are so good, kind, ready to help people they don’t know.”, she describes.

Then they decided to move to Bucharest, where they applied for help from JRS. “Thanks to JRS, we live in a separate apartment, we are given financial assistance for food. In half a year, we moved 5 times. It is very difficult when you have a one-year-old child in your arms.”, she says. She changed countries, cities, she still really misses home, but now she is not planning to return home until there is a danger of rocket attacks. The eldest child, Nastya, is afraid to return. She goes to school in Bucharest in sector 2, in the school that accepted our Ukrainian children thanks to the JRS Foundation. “This is a huge happiness for children, they get knowledge and fellowship. We are very grateful to JRS. This is a chance for a normal life.”, Lavra explains. Leaving home is tough, but JRS helps Lavra and many other refugees to keep their hope alive.

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