War stories: The family of Tetiana Nika from Odesa region
“I’m waiting for the victory to finally return home”, – these are exactly the plans of a Roma woman named Tetiana, which she told us about:
“My name is Nika Tetiana, I am thirty-seven years old, I have been married for more than twenty years. My husband’s name is Yevhen. We have four daughters: the eldest Mahdalyna, Maryna, Vitalina and Sofiia, the youngest is already six years old. Currently, our whole family stays in Germany. But before the war, we had a wonderful life. We lived in the Odesa region, in the village of Hannivka. We had our own jobs – my husband and I were entrepreneurs and had our own clothing store. But on February 24, the war began and our life changed radically.
We didn’t find out about the war right away, because, fortunately, there were no explosions or sirens in our areas at that time. On February 24, our day began as usual: the children went to school, we were going to work, I called my mother, but no one picked up the phone. I even wondered why. We just arrived at work and heard that everyone was talking about only one thing, and then we started looking for news ourselves. And, unfortunately, people's talk that this was a war was confirmed.
It was very scary then, we didn’t know what to do, where to run. Our village, where we live, crosses the border with Transnistria. That's why it was scary. Later, my husband, together with other male villagers, gathered and formed a village territorial defense to control the process of crossing our border, which runs past the village, to control other people entering and leaving. It even happened that our guys caught saboteurs. The village council helped to set up a checkpoint at the entrance to the village, and the boys divided the duty schedule between them. That’s how, when the curfew began, men started to take turns at our checkpoint from nine in the evening to six in the morning.
Time passed, and because of the terrible news from Bucha and Irpin’, it became even more terrible. We were still at home, and when May came and people began to talk that something bad would happen on May 9, we as a whole family started to get very nervous and that’s why we decided to go abroad. On the way, everyone was also worried, because we didn’t have much money, we didn’t know where we were going and what we would do there, but the most important thing was that we were going to safe places.
We arrived in Germany, we were well welcomed, the local authorities immediately gave us a house in a small village, volunteers helped us apply for social cash assistance, and our fellow villagers always came to visit us and brought food and some treats for the children. Over time, everything began to improve little by little. The children were sent to school. We are currently looking for a job for my husband.
But still, our plans for the future, when the war ends, the first step is to collect all things and go home. We've been living here for about six months, I can’t say that it’s bad here, but I really want to go home, even though the children liked it here. Be that as it may, the main thing is that we are safe, as a mother of four children I understand how important this is.
The war changed my outlook on life a lot, but just now you understand that the most important thing in life is not to earn money, not to buy real estate or anything else, the most important thing is to be together, together as a whole family, to be safe. Finally, I can say that we are very much looking forward to our victory, I wish our soldiers a lot of patience and health. Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!”
Author: Zina Prokopenko, EqualNet network
Translation: Anastasiia Tambovtseva, EqualNet network
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