The most important thing for Daniela is that her children are safe. The apartment where they used to live was in the middle of a conflict zone, “I heard explosion in my yard, and I was 6 months pregnant.” Desperate to keep her family safe and struggling with the reality that she’d be bringing a baby into the world while a war engulfed her country, her eldest son was able to travel to Switzerland to live with her first husband. Her mother-in-law agreed to help support her daughter in southern Ukraine and her younger son, Andriy, stayed with her.
Daniela has observed many changes in Andriy since the war started. He has spent most of his time indoors and on a phone. He has become “much more closed, reserved, clingy and protective” of his family. Since moving to the Refugee Accommodation Centre things have improved for Andriy, he’s able to go outside and to play with other children.
Before the war started Daniela owned a small business selling goods at a local market. She worked hard and saved for 6 years to a buy a car so that the family could travel. On the first day of the war her car was set on fire by bombs and all her goods, her livelihood, were destroyed.
“My town was green. It was horrible to see the centre of my town burn down, black, the black walls of the buildings.”