“My children are heroes to me. Of course, they were very scared. Even now, if there is an explosion, they hide immediately.” Vira*
When the conflict began in the Ukraine in February 2022, Vira and her children - 11-year-old Marria* and nine-year-old Serhii* - hid in terror in the cellar of their house. The little family did not have a car so could not evacuate like other families were doing.
Prior to the invasion Vira would commute to Kyiv to work at her office job, but with the country in turmoil she found herself unemployed and struggling to find ways to feed her children. In this dire situation, Vira never thought a transfer of cash from Save the Children would be the life altering solution she needed.
The struggle to return to life after conflict
The young family live in a small regional town and options for work were very limited for single mother Vira after losing her job in Kyiv. She was eventually able to find some work assisting at a local dairy farm which also meant that she could provide her children with milk and a little bit of meat.
Otherwise, she kept her children fed with vegetables from her garden and a small store of preserved foods she had saved in her cupboard. When the conflict began the family also lost a lot of their household items such as their kettle, phone chargers, phones tablets and clothes. Their house was damaged in the bombardment, and they did not have electricity or access to water, forcing Vira and the children to source their water from local wells.
Mariia near her house in the small village the family live in.
Rebuilding their lives
When the hostilities finally eased in her region, Vira tried applying for aid but it was difficult for humanitarian support to reach remote villages like hers. She had to rely on support from her neighbors who brought her food, hygiene items and other necessities. When she heard about cash support being provided by Save the Children, she was initially skeptical that she would receive the help she so desperately needed. But to her relief and surprise, within 8 days of applying for support, she received the money.