"May all Ukrainians be welcome as we were." – Support for families hosting Ukrainians in MoldovaPublished: Sep 14, 2022 Reading time: 3 minutes
When Russia invaded Ukraine, many Moldovans opened their houses to refugees from Ukraine, giving them somewhere safe to stay with their families and process their experiences. Among the hosts who provided accommodation to Ukrainians were Serghei and Galina, who offered a home to Eugenia and her daughter from Odesa.
Eugenia's family lived in Odesa–she worked in a sushi restaurant, and her daughter attended primary school in the city. When the invasion started on the 24th of February, they were forced to leave their home and hide in Eugenia's parents' house. They believed that the situation could change any day and everything would be as it used to be. However, after a couple of months, the situation remained unstable, and Eugenia and her daughter left Ukraine to find safety in Moldova.
In April, they travelled to Sadovoe, a village near Bălți in northern Moldova, to stay with family. "Galina is my aunt, and Serghei is my uncle. They welcomed us very well. May God grant that all Ukrainians are welcomed as we were," said Eugenia. Since arriving in Moldova, Eugenia has been grateful to be in a safe place and have everything she and her daughter need. Her Moldovan relatives conclude that family should help on any occasion and that they are happy to have both of them.
"We will stay here until there is peace and the war is over. I had to go to Odesa to solve some problems with the school and stayed there for two days. I was very anxious when I went back—you sleep, hear the siren in your dream, wake up, and panic," said Eugenia with tears in her eyes. The war left its mark on the psychological health of the people who experienced it. Even today, Eugenia has nightmares and dreams in which she witnesses explosions.
In Moldova, they find a safe place which becomes their second home. "How does a day in my life go? I'm looking after my child - the little girl studies online. I cook food for the whole family, go for walks with the puppy we brought with us from Ukraine, tidy up the yard, collect leaves from the garden and try to find other things to do - I am an active person and I can't sit around doing nothing," Eugenia confesses. Her daughter has online lessons like many Ukrainian children abroad. They find ways to spend their days but wish to go home after the war.
Support for hosting families to cope with extra expenses
Any help benefits Moldovan families, as energy prices are growing due to the energy crisis. Moldovan energy prices have doubled compared to last year and, in some cases, even tripled. People in Need, with funding from Stichting Vluchteling, a Dutch humanitarian organisation, provides financial support for hosting families to cope with extra expenses.
In total, 2,200 Moldovan households who decided to help people fleeing Ukraine received financial assistance to cover the heating bills and utilities in fifteen districts: Cahul, Taraclia, Cantemir, Basarabeasca, Nisporeni, Ungheni, Singerei, Falesti, Glodeni, Riscani, Edinet, Dondușeni, Briceni, Balti, UTA Gagauzia. Cash grants help to balance a family budget and are mainly used for electricity or gas.