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Since 2014, when the secessionist republics were created by Russia on the coast of the Nicolaev region, Marina’s family lived with a permanent feeling of unease – as if there is no war, but there is no peace in Ukraine either. The children grew up and, as expected, moved away from the plague, to Odessa. At least then they thought they were safe. 8 years have passed and in 2022 on February 24, Russia showed its true self against the aggressor, attacking a country that wanted to live freely. Unfortunately, the bombs and rockets continue to fly even in Odessa, where Marina’s children live, who cry even in these moments when Odessa was again hit by bombs and drones.

Marina Shirokova’s history is a very special one. Born in Russia, she came to live with her parents in Ukraine as a small child. All her life she was aware of her connection to her hometown of Nicolaev, where she worked at a shipyard as a construction engineer. She has relatives in Russia but until recently she did not talk to them, obviously the reasons being the war of occupation and extermination waged by the Russians against the Ukrainians.

I asked her if she still talks to them now. The answer was yes. Marina told me through tears that for 2 years her relatives blamed her, the Ukrainians, and the Moldovans for all the evils, until the moment when one of the Russian killer missiles, coming from the sea, hit a block of flats in Odessa .

Relatives of Moscovites also suffered as a result of the strike. At that moment their rhetoric changed 180 degrees. It was only then that they understood who was to blame for this unjust war. I wonder because of whom hundreds of thousands of innocent people have died. Is it really necessary for someone close to you to die or suffer to realize that war does not spare anyone? That this homicide can and must be stopped in the first place by those who started it? Every time I wonder why we are so different if we grew up in the same family. It’s a rhetorical question – we Ukrainians and Moldovans want to live in a free country, they, the Russians, being slaves in their country, hate those who are free or strive for freedom.”

In April 2022, when the front line approached Nicolaev, Marina (1958) took her sick mother and decided to evacuate to Moldova – she had visited Chisinau 40 years ago and was impressed by the hospitality and kindness of the Moldovans. She was not disappointed this time either.

Obviously it wasn’t easy. We had found a host through the acquaintances we had, but apart from that we had to find money to pay for maintenance, money for food and most importantly – for the medicine and medical care that my mother so much needed. I didn’t really know what non-governmental organizations like Homecare do. The first time I heard about them was when I received kits with essential medicines right at the border crossing – absolutely everything free, kind and very useful. And what I saw and felt from the collaborators of the Medical and Social Center “Maria Magdalena” in the city of Ștefan Vodă made me regain my faith in ordinary people. Who give, do and help not because they have but because they see you in danger, they simply feel that at that moment you need it more.

Thus, for two years already, Marina and her mother Maia have been the beneficiaries of refugee aid programs, run by the Homecare network of medical and social centers. They currently have several facilities provided by the Project “Medical and Social Services for Ukrainian refugees from Moldova – Phase III”, financed by the international organization Help – Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V.

When I return to Ukraine, which I am sure will win this fight, I will tell everyone, by my own example, how the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, a country smaller than a region from us, made their contribution to our victory by saving and protecting the lives of the family members of those who now stand face to face with the enemy. Victory will be on our side!

The Association “HOMECARE”, with the financial support of the international organization HELP – Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V., within the Project “Medical and Social Services for Ukrainian refugees from Moldova – Phase III”, continues to remain involved in helping Ukrainian refugees, thus contributing to the efforts of the Republic of Moldova to meet the demand for health and social protection services in the context of managing the flow of Ukrainian refugees.

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Uncategorized 19 April 2024