22 June 2024
Home Away from Home: Story of Finding Hope and Assistance
Home Away from Home: Story of Finding Hope and Assistance

Yulia Stepanenko relocated from the city of Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, to the Horokhiv community in Volyn Oblast.

Along with her family, Yulia became internally displaced at the onset of the full-scale war in February 2022. Kramatorsk, situated close to the frontline, regularly experienced heavy shelling from the Russian army.

“We were evacuated a year and a half ago when the full-scale war began. We moved to Horokhiv in Volyn and live here, in a kindergarten, with our family. I have two daughters, a husband, and my husband's mother,” shares Yulia.



Initially, their life was challenging as the hosting community was unprepared to receive IDPs and provide necessary living conditions.

“Later, they provided us with beds and other essential equipment — a refrigerator, washing machines, a dryer. With our large family, I do three to four loads of laundry every week. There's no need to go outside to hang the washed clothes. We have large refrigerators and freezers, allowing us to stock up on fruits and berries for the winter. We were provided with dishes, plates, and pots. Everything is new; it's very convenient,” Yulia says with a grateful smile.



The equipment for the kindergarten converted into an IDP shelter was provided by USAID HOVERLA Activity. These modern conveniences assist people forced to leave their homes and move to entirely new regions to establish their daily lives and create comfortable living conditions.

“This help is crucial for us, especially in such a difficult time when we left our homes and everything we had earned. Here, we feel good — like at home. Because we have everything, just like at home,” summarizes Yulia.


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