Memory’s Rebirth

Medair restores hope for by rebuilding houses after the war.

“I must say that I bow down to all those people in the world who support us. I pray for all those who helped us during this difficult time,” Anna said with tears in her eyes.


Anna recalls and shares with Medair’s staff the events that happened to her since the beginning of the armed conflict.

Before the war, life was idyllic in Anna’s village. Located in eastern Ukraine, close to the border line, people in Pervomaiske lived off the land, eating home-grown produce and sharing in the bounties of nature. Anna herself spent her entire life here, from her early school days. She even stayed after completing her education at the local technical school. The village was a paradise for the locals; there were many gardens, beautiful flowers at the houses, and each family farmed different types of livestock, including as chickens and cows. A special bus brought food and other items twice a day, ensuring that no one ever went hungry.

“In those days, we had everything we truly wanted, and our happiness knew no bounds,” said Anna.

But then, the war came. For the first three months, residents hardly left their basements. Younger people, who were hopeful in remote urban areas, left the village. With the outbreak of hostilities, Anna felt that her comfortable world had instantly fallen apart.

“Oh, dear, it was a typical morning,” said Anna. “I turned on the television as usual, and it was through the news that I learned about the situation in Ukraine. But the thought of leaving my village never even crossed my mind. My first thought was that I wouldn’t know where to go, what to do, where to run”.

Anna’s house was a treasured heirloom, passed down from one generation to the next, holding the memories and stories of those who called it home over the many years. However, its journey had not been without its challenges, and unfortunately, it has suffered significant damage along the way.


Photos in Anna’s house, which depict her close relatives. These photos she keeps very carefully for many years.

“The shrapnel from the shells pierced my roof, all the windows broke, the doors were also busted,” said Anna, sadly. Due to the pierced roof, water from melting snow started coming inside the house. This also led to significant problems inside the house, like wallpaper peeling off, moisture seeping into the walls, and furniture being damaged. These harrowing events occurred when the tranquillity of Anna’s family home was shattered by the destructive forces of war. But despite the hardships it faced, Anna’s home is a testament to her fortitude and faith.


One of the outside of Anna’s house, which was hit by gunfire.

“I’ll never forget the day Medair arrived. In our darkest hours, they shone as a guiding light of hope,” Anna reflected with a heart full of gratitude. “These good-hearted people repaired my roof, replaced the shattered windows, and brought back a piece of my life that the war had stolen. As winter approaches, I can’t express how happy I am that Medair was there to help with rebuilding my home. Their arrival didn’t just bring physical relief; it also meant a new roof over my head and windows to keep out the cold. My encounter with Medair wasn’t just a moment of assistance; it was a turning point in my life. Now, I stand alongside them, determined to bring hope to others facing the same devastating circumstances. Together, we’re beacons of resilience in a world shadowed by despair.”


Anna together with Medair’s staff Vasyl Kurchenko, Infrastructure officer, Shelter.

“I take great pleasure in observing the results of my work, especially when I see the joy and gratitude people show because of our assistance. Working at Medair, I feel like my family is growing, and it’s incredibly rewarding. A special thanks go to our contractors who play a vital role in the execution of our work and help improve the lives of our beneficiaries,” said Vasyl Kurchenko, Shelter and Infrastructure Officer, Ukraine.

Anna’s story is not just about surviving tough times; it’s a real-life testimony of the human resilience in the face of adversity. Medair played a significant role in improving Anna’s life during a challenging time. Through its unwavering support, Medair became a source of hope for Anna in a world filled with sadness, inspiring her to extend a helping hand to others and spread the hope.


Medair services in the east of Ukraine are funded by Swiss Solidarity, the German Federal Foreign Office, IF! Foundation, Alborada Trust and other donors.

All photos ©Medair / Diana Mukan

This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed here are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organization.