War rages through the country, leaving a path of pain and devastation in its wake, visible in its horrible, painful, and irreversible scars. It wounds the country’s body, but we are bound to restore and rebuild everything! It hurts people’s souls, but they will be healed with love and light!
Step 1. Heal the wounds
The story of Maryna Voloshina from the village of Novyi Bilous near Chernihiv is a story of pain and the strength that overcomes it, about darkness and the light that is stronger still, about loss, and about new hope.
Until February 24th, it was the story of an ordinary family. Ms. Maryna was a manager at a local Chernihiv garment factory. She was living in harmony with her husband — they were both working, raising a son, and building the house of their dreams. They had every reason to be happy.
But all their hopes and dreams were demolished on that fateful day, March 12th, 2022. This day became a crack that divided their whole life.
We try not to hurt her with the memories of those terrible events. But is it possible to be calm, remembering that horrible moment of losing the person closest to you?
“Our village is not far from Chernihiv, so they started shelling us immediately on February 24th. It seemed they threw all they could at us, destroying everything in the missiles’ path,” the woman says. “Since February 25th, my son and I have been going to the bomb shelter every day. It was a large facility that sheltered more than three hundred people daily. My husband Dmytro refused to join us, saying that he had built our house, so he would stay and protect it. No matter how hard I tried to persuade him, he absolutely refused to leave it.
I was very worried about my son, so I spent almost all the time in the bomb shelter with him. We stayed “underground” for nearly a month and a half, from February 25th to April 5th. There were 280 adults and 80 children in the factory shelter. Every day as soon as the curfew ended at six in the morning, I ran home to visit my husband, cook him some food, talk to him, and spend a small amount of quality time together. Our fellows in the bomb shelter joked that I went to the frontline every day, as the post of our soldiers, who were keeping the enemy at bay, was only a kilometer from our house.
I replied to them that I was going home to my husband, and nothing would scare or stop me! However, when I came home on the morning of March 13th, I saw that the house was no longer there. And my husband was also gone. There was a direct hit; two floors of the house had collapsed, burying Dmytro underneath. The guys from the post pulled him out from under the rubble, rendered first aid, and took him to the hospital, but the doctors could not save him. He was only 37 years old, with so many more years to live.”
She is a strong woman. But, as it turns out, being strong is simple when your son looks at you with hope, as if asking, “What will we do next?” So together, they learned to live, breathe, and meet each dawn without their most loved and dearest husband and father. They learned to live on, to let the warm and bright memories grow from this pain. They learned to survive the loss without losing their love.
“Only memories remained from our happy life,” Ms. Marina says. “But people support us, and it saves. My son is 16 years old and entered the college of transport and computer technologies this year. So now he is my support and the future that will last and win!”
Step 2. To love means to help!
“In April, when the Russian troops started retreating from Chernihiv region, my son and I finally came out of the shelter where we had been staying almost all the time, and the two of us began to sort out the rubble of the house,” the woman says. “It was a miracle, but two rooms of the house survived; the windows were broken, and there were cracks in the ceiling, but at least there was a roof over our heads. My son and I are living there now, trying to rebuild at least part of what was destroyed.”
“The volunteers of the Because We Can organization helped us greatly with the renovation of the house, and we are very grateful to them, as with their help, we have already rebuilt the first floor. Also, thanks to the Goodacity space for purchasing radiators for us — now my son and I won’t freeze in the winter!”
“I will be honest, when we started rebuilding the house, I just wanted to give up at first: there was so much work and money needed, and I was alone with my son. What could I do? But then caring people started offering their help, one by one, so some strength emerged within me. And the belief that everything would be fine.”
“Our people are so incredible; they have so much light and kindness! I feel the care and love of people I had not known until now, and I want to ensure those feelings endure. Love is not some abstract idea. It is so specific! To love means to help!
I tell everyone: “On the day of our Victory, I will place large, long tables in my yard, and I will invite all those who are fighting and helping, whose support and care give us the strength to live on. There will be something to cry about together, and there will be something to rejoice in together. I believe and know for sure that this day will come!”
Time to sum it up
Healing power is a manifestation of genuine care, kindness, and love! Within each of us is the ability to become a light for someone else, to fill someone’s life with warmth and support, and to unite to protect living hearts.
You can afford yourself the luxury of goodness!
Doing good is very simple!
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