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  • Writer's pictureJRS Romania

JRS provides us with huge mental support

Hello! My name is O. and I am from Kyiv, Ukraine. I have lived in Ukraine my entire life. For the past couple of years, I have worked as a personal assistant, living a normal life. Then the war started… After the first day of the war, I ran to my grandparents’ place because they had a basement, so we could hide when we heard the sirens.

The worst day and night of my life was when the war started. I witnessed the first explosions in my area because a military base was located just on the other side of the street from my house. During the first week of the war, I could not sleep at all. It was physically and mentally exhausting, constantly checking the news and paying attention to what was taking place in the sky. I made the decision to move to Romania very quickly, almost automatically. I left with my mother without any personal belongings, and not having a car, so it was a very long and rough trip. We crossed the border by foot.

On our journey, we have faced numerous challenges, including lack of information, language barriers, and mental instability. It was so difficult to accommodate ourselves mentally and emotionally, even though we had a lot of support from so many people.

Fortunately, we heard from our Romanian friend that we could get help from JRS. We had nowhere to stay, nowhere to go. Two weeks after our arrival, JRS assisted us with accommodation, and they are still providing assistance. In the first phase, we were accommodated for a short period of time in a hotel-style apartment. Then we moved into an apartment with the help of JRS. My landlord was in contact with one of the JRS team members and they discussed all the details regarding how the program works. It was an enormous help explaining the terms of the contract, the rules regarding monthly utility bills, etc., things that would have been so difficult for me to do by myself.

It was important for my mother and me to have a place where we could go and feel safe and secure. While we were out of work, it was essential to find a place where we could feel at home and where we could look for a job and do our usual routines.

Many people in our position live in camps in large groups, while we were blessed to receive assistance and very decent living conditions. During these difficult times, I can honestly call this opportunity great luck since otherwise, it would have been very difficult for me to care for my mother and myself from a financial and psychological perspective.

In addition to the housing assistance provided by JRS, we additionally receive material assistance (monthly allowance, medication costs), which is a great help. JRS also organizes different activities for children and adults. As Easter is a very significant day in our family's traditions, celebrating Easter together was a very precious moment for me. I also participated in Romanian language classes when it was relevant for me and I’m very grateful to Marius for his time and contribution to JRS’ work.

In addition, JRS provides us with huge mental support. This is like having relatives in a different country that you can count on. During these times you don’t have any friends or family by your side.

JRS staff is ready to help all the time. We’ve always been provided with very detailed information and had face-to-face meetings during our stay in Bucharest. We are assisted by Diana, and she is the main person with whom I usually communicate. She is super supportive and ready to provide any information or other kind of help at any time. She stays on the line literally 24\7 and never leaves us without a response.

Even though this country is a beautiful place to live, I feel fear if I contemplate the future. We hope that a large number of refugees will not cause further conflicts and that we will also be able to make a positive impact on Romania. The most important thing to me is to keep my family, who are in Ukraine, safe, as well as my father, who is fighting for his life.

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