Eva, 12, loved spending time with her friends. They wrote notes and giggled on their walks home from school. At home, Eva spent time playing outside with her younger sisters Mila and Anya. When it was too cold to go outside, the girls drew pictures around the wood stove.
Then war broke out in eastern Ukraine, near their neighborhood, and everything changed.
Eva stopped going to school. She hid under blankets with her sisters, hoping a missile wouldn’t hit their home. Most nights, their parents worked late, so Eva was in charge of feeding and caring for her sisters. But once she would sing her sisters to sleep, Eva would rock back and forth, unable to relax and trembling with fear.
Sometimes her parents came home late with no money for food. The girls had empty stomachs in the morning. “I cannot begin to express the depth of pain that a mother feels when she sees her children frightened and crying for food,” their mother said, describing life in war-torn Donetsk. “Finally, we decided to join the throngs of refugees fleeing to safety.”
The family fled Donetsk and traveled from place to place, taking advantage of the kindness of friends and relatives. They never settled anywhere and they had no jobs and little money to their name.
The once bubbly and joyful girls were now sullen and withdrawn. They cried out in their sleep, reliving the fear from the days of war.
When things calmed down, the family returned home and tried to piece their lives back together.
That’s when Fellowship-supported LifeChanger FSU began to help families in Donetsk. Finally the family had some support, someone to turn to for help and understanding.
Fellowship-supported LifeChanger FSU provided the girls with psychological counseling to help them overcome their trauma. The girls began to act like themselves again — chatting, laughing, and playing.
Fellowship-supported LifeChanger FSU also helped the girls’ parents find better jobs, making them more available to their daughters, who needed their mother and father now more than ever.
The girls have started going to school again, and are flourishing socially and academically.
“I never thought we would be able to recover,” said their father, “but thanks to the kindness and generosity of The Fellowship my family is thriving and healthy once again. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you so much!”