Home is destroyed, but family bond standing strong

Nalyvaikivka is a village in the Buchanskyi district within the Kyiv Oblast, where Yurii (60) built his family home, brick-by-brick, over several years. Yurii and his family, including his wife Oksana (51), daughter Svitlana (24) and their dog, escaped two missiles targeting Nalyvaikivka by hiding in an underground room on their property, acting as a bomb shelter. Their home, however, was completely destroyed and the whole family lost all their possessions.

Following the destruction, Svitlana moved to live with friends in Slovakia as the war surrounding Kyiv continued. She returned to Nalvyaikivka, reuniting with her family after only one month away, in order to support her parents as they cope with trauma while rebuilding their home.

I just couldn’t stay there knowing that my mom and dad go through this hell.

Svitlana, 24
©UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

Just as he did many years ago, Yurii will lead the reconstruction of the family home, but first, he picks up the remains of his former home with stoicism. His son living in Kyiv, makes regular trips back to the village to help clean the debris. Oksana suffers from emotional and psychological effects, from nightmares and insomnia, to anxiety. Even the family dog has shown signs of confusion, as he stares at the remnants of the former family home.

Earlier this month, UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi visited Yurii, Oksana and Svitlana in Nalyvaikivka, currently living in an RHU while the reconstruction of their home is ongoing.

©UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

UNHCR has supported the civilian population in Ukraine by supplying RHUs and other NFIs to families who choose to stay in their property. Nalyvaikivka is just 7 km away from Makariv in Ukraine, where the main Kyiv offensive has taken place.

Read more about our work on the emergency in Ukraine here.

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