Many people in Ukraine still lack necessities such as food and water. We continue to scale-up our humanitarian response and are now providing nutritionally balanced food baskets or meals to over 10,000 people a day.

Ivanna (not her real name) is currently homeless and living with friends. She receives regular food baskets from Depaul Ukraine.

Ivanna’s testimony highlights how people’s lives can change in an instant, and how quickly people who were leading ordinary lives before the war can suddenly become homeless.

Ivanna is a therapist with three children – two daughters aged 24 and 21, and a 12-year-old son, and recently became a grandmother. Ivanna shared her story with the Disaster and Emergency Committee (DEC) during their recent trip to Kharkiv. We are receiving funding from the DEC’s very successful Ukraine appeal, thanks to our partnership with CAFOD. Here’s Ivanna’s story:

“The 24th of March is a date that I will never forget. That day, my whole family were gathered together when shells hit our house. A fire started to spread fast and the whole house was engulfed in flames. Thankfully, firefighters reacted quickly and they managed to extinguish the fire, stopping it from spreading further in the neighbourhood. Nobody was hurt. It was a miracle.”

“After that, we moved to live with family friends, but their house was also hit. They bought their house after the birth of their first child. All the furniture and windows were purchased on credit, and almost everything burned.”

“My daughter, her husband and my grandson have now moved to another region and are renting a house in a village. They are safe.”

Ivanna, now homeless, has been staying with friends. She receives regular food baskets from Depaul Ukraine volunteers. Each food basket costs about 12 Euros. The contents are specified by a nutritionist and designed to last one person for 5 days.

“This humanitarian aid helps during this challenging time. It is crucial. The volunteers are doing an amazing job.”

“Despite the hardship, I will never leave Kharkiv. This is my city. And even if I did decide to leave – what would I do with my pets? What would happen to them? I visit them every day to feed them. I even feed other pets abandoned by their owners.”

“The situation in Kharkiv changes daily. The number of weekly shellings have decreased, but they still make a lot of noise. The regional administration has advised citizens not to return home just yet. I dream about returning to my office and seeing my patients again in person rather than treating them over the phone. I dream of rebuilding my house. I dream of my big family gathering around the same table again.”

To support our work in Ukraine, please go to our Depaul Ukraine Emergency Appeal page.