We are currently responding to the crisis in Ukraine, find out more about work here

In Ukraine, mothers who find themselves homeless have their children taken from them. Homelessness tears families apart.

Depaul’s project in Korotich, just outside Kharkiv in east Ukraine, houses homeless mothers for up to 2 years – so they can get their life back on track. And keep their children with them, where they belong.

Anastasiya and her daughter Sofia sought help from Depaul. This is their story:

Anastasiya gave birth to Sofia when she was 18 years old and two years later a little boy was born. Tragically, her son died when he was only ten months old – leaving her overwhelmed by grief. Unable to cope, she turned to alcohol. She was living in Belarus at the time, but authorities threatened to take Sofia from her – so she fled back to her homeland Ukraine. They sofa-surfed with friends and then Anastasiya’s parents. But they refused to accept Sofia – her own grandmother ignored her, not even acknowledging her when passing by.

After a few months, Anastasiya and Sofia found themselves homeless.

Thankfully, she found safety at Depaul. They now have their own room in a safe and peaceful environment.

They are provided with everything they need: meals and clothes, medicines and hygiene products.

Most importantly, our social workers are helping Anastasiya with her grief – knowing that she and Sofia are safe, she is able to talk through her past experiences and, gradually, focus on her future.

Depaul’s own legal support team was able to secure Anastasiya social benefits – so when she is ready to live independently, she and Sofia will have the funds to do so. Depaul has ensured a mother and child stay together – preventing a family struck by tragedy and poverty from breaking apart.