English language version – click here for Ukrainian language version.
“To anyone fleeing Ukraine and coming to the UK, I say do not to give up because Ukrainians never give up. The world is not without kind people who will do their best to help you.”
This year, KIND UK expanded its work to provide free legal support to children, young people and families fleeing the war in Ukraine. We help those who want to come to the UK and those who are already here.
This is the story of one of our successes – a mother and daughter who left their home to seek safety and came to KIND for help.
Their story was told to us in Ukrainian by our client and translated by her daughter. Their names have been changed to protect their anonymity.
Click here for more information on our Ukraine service in English and Ukrainian.
My body is here but my soul is in Ukraine
By Elena (a KIND UK client from Ukraine)
The war put an end to our good life in Ukraine, and we came here to the safety of Britain. With the help of KIND UK, my daughter, my husband and I were able to stay. Now, we are working, making the best of our situation and starting a new life, a new chapter in our lives.
We lived in Kyiv before the war. I had a good job selling property, and my daughter was at school. When Russia invaded, we sent her to live with my family in Poland so she would be safe. My husband and I stayed in Ukraine, hoping that the war would end quickly. But after living for six months in the shelter, with the bombs falling, we realised it wouldn’t.
Our friends told us we should try to go to the UK because people from Ukraine could go there and be safe. We applied, grabbed what we could and fled our home.
At first my daughter wasn’t allowed to come with us because she was already in a safe place. It was so hard to leave without her, but it was too risky to stay or to get her from Poland. She had also built up a life there. She was studying and she had made friends. Even in times of war and danger, life goes on.
It took a lot to get my daughter here from Poland, but eventually we did it. Finally, we were all together again. We were all safe.
We looked for help with our case so that we could stay together. We were referred to KIND who give free legal support to children and families from Ukraine. That’s where we met our lawyer, Jennifer. We explained our situation. She said she could help us and took on our case straight away.
It was an amazing moment when the Home Office told us that our case was successful. We were so happy. Our family had been though a lot, but then we knew we could stay and we were safe for the next three years.
We love where we are now. There’s a lot of nature and the people have been amazing, so welcoming. We live in a hotel, which is difficult but it’s ok for us. We’re safe and really grateful for the support we get.
And now we are able to work. My English is not that good so my options for work are limited, so I work in a warehouse and my English is getting better. Work can help you to forget and get on with things. It gives you a focus. My daughter has been able to finish school online and get her certificates. She speaks great English and is now studying.
When people ask me what I want for the future I say that it’s hard to think about the future. We have a visa for three years, but we don’t know what will happen. We haven’t been home in over a year. So many people at home don’t have their house to go back to because of the war.
In the future we want the war to end. My body is here but my soul is in Ukraine. It’s hard to explain but I think many people will understand what I mean. If I can go back I will kiss the ground.
To anyone fleeing Ukraine and coming to the UK, I say do not to give up because Ukrainians never give up. Knock on a door for help and you will find someone who will help you. This is how we found KIND UK. The world is not without kind people who will do their best to help you.