The suffering of the Ukrainian people: women and children fleeing the war desperately hope to come home one day

Published: Mar 23, 2022 Reading time: 2 minutes
A family with three kids gather at the evacuation point in Romanivka fleeing the combats
© © Alberto Lores for People in Need

The war in Ukraine is causing human suffering, loss of life, and the displacement of millions of people.

So far, three million people have fled Ukraine for safety in neighbouring countries. Nine out of ten of those fleeing are women or children.

Countless innocent people – including women and children – have been killed. “I will never forget the day when I was trying to get out of Irpin… I was outside when a neighbours’ car was shelled. The father died, and the mother and her child were wounded. It is difficult to accept this and impossible to understand. I desperately want this war to come to an end,” shared Olha from Irpin.

In Ukraine, many apartment buildings, once warm family homes, have been destroyed or become impossible to live in. Infrastructure that once served millions of people has become unusable.

Civilian infrastructure, including power plants, radio towers, and bridges, have been destroyed in the war. The impact of such destruction will have significant and long-lasting consequences for the innocent Ukrainians who remain.

Destroyed bridges make it difficult for civilians to get to safety. People fleeing are often on foot and must carefully navigate dangerous obstacles such as bomb-damaged roads and ruined bridges.

For older and disabled people, it is impossible to flee without assistance. Elderly and disabled Ukrainians must rely on relatives, neighbours, and volunteers who help them flee the violence.

Parts of Ukraine have become unrecognizable as so many people flee and buildings crumble. Despite the destruction, people still believe that they will be able to go home when peace returns to Ukraine. 

“I’m ready to do everything by myself, including construction works, to rehabilitate destroyed houses. I simply want to come back to my town; I want to return home to Korosten… People are very nice and kind in western Ukraine. They treat us very warmly. But I want to go home…,” says Olena from Korosten, who is staying in a collective centre in the Lviv region with her two daughters.  

People in Need’s assistance to people in Ukraine is possible thanks to donations from the public and private sector to PIN Ukraine Emergency Appeal, financial contributions from Alliance2015, CARE, Stichting Vluchteling, Porticus, King Baudouin Foundation and partnership with European Union, Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic or World Food Programme.

Author: Alyona Budagovska, People in Need Ukraine

Related articles