We Ukrainians are like bees 

We live in one apiary, we work every day, sometimes we have to move away from our beloved hive. But let someone try to attack this home of ours!  

However, there is also a downside. The bee dies after having stung... it's also a bit about us. We are self-sacrificing, but as a result, the losses can be great. 

But you also need to know that bees have been around in the universe for a long time, and despite all the sacrifices, they have not become extinct. So there is hope. 

The beginning - how the storm broke out 

From February 24, for the first month of this offensive, because we have had war since 2014, my Lviv was a place through which many refugees passed.  

I worked for a couple of years at the training ground as an interpreter. Polish military officers came there and trained ours. I know quite a few of them. What hurts the most is when information comes out about who has already died and who is seriously wounded... it's all very moving....  

On February 24, I was at the train station picking up a military friend who was returning from Poland from work and going to fight (thank God still alive). The next day I was picking up another friend (this one had unfortunately already died). The station was relatively empty. The first 24 hours were the kind of quiet before the storm.  

The day after, when we arrived at the station it was like Babylon. The evacuation trains had already started by then. I didn't quite understand what was happening. I came to say goodbye to my military friends, because they were going to fight.  

Food, housing 

Then I came to work, we knew that there were a lot of refugees and we made drops and made such packages for the road. We took a car from work and give provisions to the refugees who were coming. This went on for a week. It's hard to describe what we saw.  

There were alarms constantly, but at least we had houses that ware intact. That was psychologically very intense. Everybody wanted to help somehow. 

People ware fleeing abroad. Some were staying for a few days to get settled for a moment and decide what to do next. So we started looking for housing. It was a Gehenna. I had a two-room apartment. There were me, my son with his fiancée and 4 more people. One from Bucza, a girl from Kiev, someone from Irpień.  

People looked at me as if I was some kind of salvation. Inside I was very scared, outside, however, I tried to hold on somehow. 


March was a nightmare month. We didn't know what awaited us. I witnessed how Crimea and Donbas were taken from us in 2014. I remember turning on the news then and hearing what happened. I couldn't believe it. I was completely stunned. How is this possible in the 21st century! Here another time. At some point I knew I couldn't show this to my kids, how scared I was. Although inside everything was panting. 

All my friends tried to help as much as possible. People provided apartments or some other space. What they told about those evacuation trains was unthinkable. Even pictures do not show it correctly. 

Phones turned off, windows covered. And the journey sometimes lasted many days. By the end of March it had somehow stabilized. There were already heating points and transports. And then I lost my job.  

I want to help  

At that time my daughter, who lived in Warsaw, wanted to draw me to her. She told me that there were a lot of refugees in Warsaw, mostly they were not speaking Polish, and they were looking for people who could speak both languages. The first weeks I acted as a volunteer in various places. 

I worked at a dispatch center to connect Ukrainians looking for housing with Poles who provided it. I helped individual people as an interpreter.  

When I arrived, I needed a job myself, but I knew I didn't want any job. I was looking for work to be helpful. And that's when JRS came along.   

A vocation? 

I was given a list of things I could do here, and I found myself very much in it. I saw that I had the right competence and life experience. Although I had never worked in this way before.  

Poland is very close to me, I know the language well, and I have this understanding that a person comes and is completely lost. I am very aware of how scary it can be. 

Because even I, having a daughter here, knowing the language, for the first two weeks I was stunned. I was lost, I didn't know what to do, there was some kind of block. And this was not only with me, my friends experienced it in a similar way. I realized that it was necessary to help people.  

But when I got here, I talked to the coordinator Sylvia. I left the office and saw the Shrine of St. Andrew Bobola. I looked up... and I already knew. I asked Him "what have brought me here?"  And I knew the answer. I guess it's something of a vocation.