In Ukraine, an Internally Displaced Family Finds Support to Restart

ADRA is helping families to adapt and thrive after they resettle due to the ongoing war.

ADRA Australia
In Ukraine, an Internally Displaced Family Finds Support to Restart
Thanks to ADRA, internally displaced young students in Ukraine such as Artem can now attend an Adventist school. [Photo: ADRA Australia]

Tetiana, her ten-year old son Artem,* and Tetiana’s retired mother were forced to relocate when the war came to their hometown of Kherson, Ukraine. Shortly before the war, the family lost their breadwinner, so Tetiana now had to carry the burden of providing and caring for her family alone.

“The period of adaptation in the new city was very difficult financially, psychologically, and emotionally,” Tetiana says.

In their new city of Lviv, they had to rebuild their lives from scratch. With so many other Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) converging on the city, everything was a challenge, especially finding housing, work, and a school to enroll in. When they first arrived in Lviv, Artem was doing his studies online with his school back in Kherson. But a missile strike caused widespread blackouts for six months, and Artem’s online classes were canceled. Without access to education, Artem was further isolated from his peers and at risk of falling behind in his studies.

“It was difficult to enroll in a school in Lviv, even in a public school,” Tetiana says.

Thankfully, Tetiana received support from the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to help Artem attend a local Adventist School.

“Being a displaced woman raising a young child on my own, I would not be able to afford my son’s education at such a school without sponsorship,” Tetiana says. “If not for this help [from ADRA], Artem would not have been able to get a high-quality education and would not have met new friends his age.”

Artem’s school is a mix of local students and IDPs. This balance has helped Artem adapt to life in Lviv while also being surrounded by peers who understand all he has been through.

“He does not feel alone in his status of ‘displaced child’ because there are enough children in his class and throughout the school who have survived the terror of war and found shelter here,” Tetiana says. “For these children, who were forced to leave their home, school, friends, and teachers, it is important to be in an atmosphere of support and friendliness, which we found here.”

Attending school has helped Artem adjust to life in Lviv.

“The whole school is like one big family, where you know everyone and it makes you feel cosy and calm,” Artem says. “The teachers are attentive and caring toward the children.”

Tetiana has seen the positive change in her son since he first started attending, thanks to support from the principal, teachers, and counselor, and being surrounded by peers. “His emotional and psychological state improved significantly compared to when he first started studying at the school,” she says.

“I like physical education and classes called ‘Learning Together,’ where we talk about relationships,” Artem says. “I also like it when we go on an excursion with the whole class. Recently, we went to the Museum of Science, which was very cool.

“I like to spend time with my friends in the school yard,” Artem says. “Now I dream of either becoming a professional football player or starting my own business.”

Artem shared that, once he becomes a prominent football player or successful businessman, he wants to help others in the same way that he has been helped.

The original version of this story was posted by ADRA Australia.


* Name changed for child protection purposes.

ADRA Australia