Marina in Sofia – A Story of Escaping the Ukraine War

17 Apr, 2023

In March 2022, Family For Every Child launched our Ukraine Crisis Appeal to support children and families in vulnerable situations caused by the conflict. All funds raised went directly to local organisations working on the ground in Ukraine and the region and many families have since received vital support from our partner organisation For Our Children in Bulgaria. One of these families is Marina’s – a young mother who was forced to flee her home in Kyiv. This is her story. 

Marina and her family are from Kyiv. The war and the hostilities that started  in Ukraine forced the young mother to take her children and flee the country. Marina, her family and her husband are forced to split up, the father stays in Ukraine, and the pregnant mother leaves Ukraine. It’s not an easy road for Marina, who faces so many difficulties along the way. She’s forces to move numerous times due to unfavourable living conditions for her children.

First, she went to Poland, the city of Krakow, where she settled with a local volunteer for 4 weeks, then decided to go to the Netherlands, where she was lucky to be accommodated in a small village, but with no school or hospital in the vicinity. As Marina’s pregnancy progressed, the young mother was once again forced to look for other options. She decided to settle with friends in Bulgaria, who provided her with temporary shelter. This is where Marina also received temporary protection status, and shortly after, she managed to rent a small apartment in Sofia.

In mid-October, the young mother visited For Our Children for the first time, and shared her story. At this moment, Marina was 36 weeks pregnant – lost, confused, alone, without help and support from relatives in Ukraine. She was hoping for help from her mother, who was due to arrive from Poland soon to help with the care of the newborn baby, and hopeful that her husband would be able to leave Ukraine as soon as their baby arrives. Due to the accumulated stress, Marina desperately needed psychological support and help making appointments with doctors and health professionals.

To date, For Our Children and their Ukraine team are actively supporting Marina and her young family. They were able to get the family registered with a local Doctor, who could assist the mother during her pregnancy, escort her to local hospitals, translate conversations, refer her for hospitalisation and eventually, her new baby girl Nina’s safe delivery in November. Marina received psychological support and her son Alexey was able to joining a weekly children’s group, where he’s begun making new friends. Of course, they family also received  humanitarian aid – a food package, a school package for Alisa, diapers for Alexey and Christmas gifts for Marina and her children.

Today, Marina is a proud mother of three children. Nina is safe and healthy and as the family planned, after the birth, Marina’s husband was able to leave Ukraine and move to Bulgaria. Now the family is complete and although far from their homeland, they are together, healthy, loving, and ready to make a new life with the support from For Our Children and the many people who helped fund the Ukraine Emergency Appeal with generous donations. 

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