With Ukraine in the heart and in the thoughts

Elina’s family is from the city of Nikopol in the Dnipropetrovsk Region – Western Ukraine. There she and her husband had a business – engaged in dancing, acrobatics, gymnastics. A few months after the the war started, she and her daughter were evacuated by train and reached Poland. Then they consider the possibility of going to Western Europe, but her mother lives in Bulgaria and they decide to come here to be together.

Here, at the beginning, they encounter great difficulties in finding a place to live, because they take their pet dog with them. At the beginning, they live in the apartment of Elina’s mother, in which she has a room from an apartment that she shares with other people, and they literally had to sleep in the corridor. But Elina’s mother connects them with Caritas Sofia, because she already knows about the organization and the opportunities offered. After that, it becomes a little easier for the family to settle on their own because our associates put them up through the Airbnb.org program in an apartment where they can be together.

They are grateful for the support provided by our associates, because they are unable to find a place where pets accepted  on their own. She and her daughter attend Caritas Sofia’s Bulgarian language courses. Elina’s daughter is 5 years old and according to Ukraine’s education system, she starts online in first grade.

“I really like that there is a park near the apartment and I spend a lot of time there with my daughter and the dog. There are many trees. It’s like a forest.”

With the help of Caritas Sofia, they contacted a real estate broker, with whom they managed to find a suitable apartment for rent. They all live together now. The plans are to open a business and in the future provide general fitness, sports and dance classes for children.

At the end of the conversation, Elina shares that she feels great anxiety. She is worried about her husband and brother, who remain in Ukraine.

“I have everything here. My daughter and mother are with me, but I constantly think about my relatives in Ukraine. I want to go back to my country. To meet everyone and be together when the war is over.”