During our trip to Sumy, we stopped by a small village located near the Russian border. Many houses here have been destroyed, but people have returned to their homes and are trying to repair them in order to continue living here. The beginning of spring is felt in a special way here. The sun is shining all around, the trees are blooming, the grass is turning green, the birds are singing, and at such moments there is hope that everything that was destroyed will be revived, just like nature after winter hibernation. We met Taisiia in the yard of her house, which was destroyed last year.
“God exists in this world because he saved us. We left the house and brought food to my old mother. Just 15 minutes later my house was gone. An aerial bomb fell in the yard,” said 44-year-old Taisiia from Ukraine.
“When we realized that something has started in the country, the first thing I did was go to the store with my 15-year-old son to buy the necessary food. Then we returned home and decided to take some food to my old mother, who lives nearby. On the way, we saw tanks, so we quickly ran to my mother’s house. There we hid in the basement and heard explosions. The first thought that came to my mind was that my house was damaged. I don’t understand where this thought came from.”
Tears welled up in Taisiia’s eyes, but she continued to share her story anyway. “When the shelling ended and we went outside, I started receiving many messages and calls on my phone. My neighbor called and said, “Taisiia, your house is gone.”
“I ran home and when I saw everything with my own eyes, I just screamed because I couldn’t cry. I was in so much pain. There is nothing left at the site of my house,” Taisiia said.
Taisiia told me that she bought this house a week before it was bombed. She and her son had dreamed about having this kind of house for years. In order to buy this house, she even traveled to Germany to earn money. There she took care of an elderly lady. “As soon as we bought the house, my son and I immediately started tidying it up: we swept, washed the floor, and trimmed the trees. Sometimes we even forgot to eat because we were so excited about the new house. It was a dream life,” Taisiia said.
She went to the porch of her house because it was the only thing left. And she began to give us a tour of her house as if it existed. She showed where the kitchen, bedroom, and living room were, and also told about the plans that did not materialize. She dreamed of building a gazebo and planting even more trees. Instead, an old apple tree blooms in the bombed-out yard. Taisiia and her son have now moved in with her mother. “My mother has sore feet and she lives in an old house. Now my son and I live with her,” Taisiia said. Medair helped the family with firewood, so they were able to keep warm during the winter.
“Now I dream of a house and peace, nothing else. I want to rebuild a house in this very spot. Because my son and I fell in love with it at first sight,” Taisiia said.
At the end of our conversation, a smile finally appeared on the woman’s face, and hope shone in her eyes. She hugged our team members and invited us to visit for a coffee when she rebuilds her house.
Medair services in Ukraine are funded by PMU, CDB, CEDAR, Mustard Seed, Tearfund NZ.
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.
Photos with optimazed photos/captions/alt-texts