We lived in a bomb shelter for a whole week

My name is Andrei . I am from Berdyansk , region Zaporozhye, Ukraine . My family and I decided to flee our homeland. We couldn’t take the tension anymore, we weren’t safe after they occupied the city. Together with our children, we lived in a bomb shelter for a whole week.

As soon as I was given the opportunity, I took my wife and three children to safety. I chose Bulgaria. We traveled with our personal car, crossed the border through Chernivtsi and reached Bulgaria only after a week.

We arrived on April 1, 2022 and settled in Plovdiv. We were looking for a place to stay, but all the hotels were full. We were hosted by strangers after they found out we were Ukrainians and had been on the road for 7 days, and we hadn’t slept the last few nights.

We found out about “Caritas” from the social networks of Ukrainians in Plovdiv. I had already found a job and and the employer offered us accommodation. But I was accommodated in the official accommodation for free, and I had to pay BGN 150 for each member of my family. My salary was used up almost only by paying for the accommodation. Therefore, I found a new job and we had to leave this accommodation urgently.

I contacted the Caritas Vitania staff. We had to vacate the office apartment given to me by my first job, but there was no time to look for a new home. Caritas staff offered a month-long stay through their partnership with Airbnb.org. Extremely cozy, comfortable and spacious accommodation. I have already found an apartment for rent. The 30-day period, which we secured through the assistance of Caritas Vitania staff, gave us the opportunity to choose the most suitable option for ourselves. Now I have another job and can pay for an apartment for the family.