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I cannot be safe anymore

Updated: Nov 18

Here is another story from the "Refugee life stories" series. After leaving one of the most affected cities, Mykolaiv, a refugee woman from Ukraine, finds security and a sense of normality in Romania.

While the feeling of safety should be expected, it is often not attainable due to the problems of integration and the needs of refugees in the country of refuge. Support is still needed for Ukrainian refugees.


"Before the war, I had a very beautiful life. I lived in Mykolaiv working as a cashier at a cinema. My daughter and my granddaughter lived in the same city.

On the night of the 24th of February, I wasn’t sleeping because I had COVID and I didn’t feel well. At one moment I heard some strange noises. There were shootings, but at that time I didn’t know what they were. I woke up my husband, and our friends called us and told us that there are shootings and bombings at Nikolaev airport. I was in shock. After a couple of hours, I saw people on my street running, on foot, by cars.

At the beginning of March, I went to the supermarket. Five minutes after I left, that place was bombed. 9 people died. That was the moment when I realized that I cannot be safe anymore.

On the 18th of March, my daughter, my granddaughter and I arrived in Romania.

Romanian people were very nice and hospitable to me and my family from the very beginning. First I was accommodated by the Hospice Casa Sperantei organization in a small town close to Bucharest they are the ones who told me about JRS and since then, the summer of this year, my family and I have constantly been helped by them with accommodation in hotel and apartment, vouchers, psychological support, tablet for my granddaughter to study. JRS’s assistance gave us stability and a sense of having a normal life, and a feeling of safety. And I thanked them for that.

Having accommodation in Bucharest offered my daughter more job opportunities, the chance to stay close to the Ukrainian community and, at the same time, to integrate better into Romanian society. We made Romanian friends, so one day, when I will return home, I will miss Romania and the people who treated me and my family humanely.

I am waiting for the war to be over and go back to my home, but now it’s not possible. In Mykolaiv, there are still bombings, and we don’t have running water or electricity. "

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