Fortress of strength within oneself
How and where can you find strength when the war destroys your home and your whole life? The kindness and humanity of others helped this woman build a fortress of strength within herself, even as her home was demolished. War destroys, it makes us doubt everything that once seemed stable, but the forces of good, love, and light remain forever!
Vision and mood
We meet Grandma Halya from Bobrovytsia near Chernihiv, Ukraine, at home. More precisely, the charred ruins that used to be her home — it was all that was left of her house and shed. “I found shelter in the Chernihiv rehabilitation center for children, the conditions there are very good, and the people are very kind,” the old woman says.
“But every day, I get on my bicycle and come here (her former home).
These walls are so dear to me; I have lived here all my life. I’m drawn here, home. Here I can weep out my grief and get something done; I have planted a small vegetable garden by the house, so I tend to it. And I will share the harvest with those who have also suffered because we have to help each other. There is no other way”.
Step 1. A helping hand
Grandma Halya doesn’t hold back her tears while talking about the terrible spring events when her native Chernihiv region was shelled in daily attempts to raze it to the ground. Memories can hurt…
“Life has never been easy for me,” the woman says. “I have been working hard since I was little, helping my mom on the collective farm and on our own, building our house together with the family. These walls contain more than half a century of our family’s history. Now only memories remain.
My husband died, and my son died 17 years ago.
I did not live in luxury, but I had everything I needed. I had my own place and a roof over my head. And then the “liberators” came and “liberated” me from all this. Our village was shelled brutally all through March; your fingers would be enough to count all the houses that survived it”.
“A shell flew in, starting a fire, and the flames quickly spread from the yard to the house, the shed, the garden — everything burned down. And I stood watching as everything burned, everything I put so much love and hard work into. I thought maybe I could carry something out of the flames, save something. But I just went numb from the shock, so I stood watching, and my legs went weak”.
“It was very difficult, so much despair, fear, and hopelessness. It seemed that not just a house was destroyed, but my whole life. But everything changes instantly when you find people who care – when they give you a helping hand. This is how your soul is healed, how your face becomes brighter, and how friends are made”.
“Volunteers are people who say “not in my backyard,” Goodacity volunteer Oksana says — she helps Grandma Halya. “All of Ukraine is our home! And that’s why every destroyed house hurts, and you want to help everyone! While helping those who suffered from the war, I noticed that it was not food or things that people needed most; they needed to feel that they were not forgotten, that they were not alone”.
Step 2. The home within the heart
“I once heard the prover, “All good people are one family.” Now I am convinced that this is true! The war brought us so much pain but also so much unity. So when the Goodacity volunteers called me for the first time, I couldn’t believe it was possible that you would just come and help a stranger, sincerely and with all your heart!
A small gas stove, an extension cord, several pairs of shoes, and a raincoat — all these things are absolutely irreplaceable to me now. Still, the most pleasant thing is the attention itself, when people sincerely worry and care about you. Yes, building a new house takes a lot of time, but you can start building a new life filled with the power of goodness right away”.
“Goodacity volunteers are very dear to me, and I am happy that I now have such a large and warm family! These people, with whom I found help and shelter, became my true home! And no one can destroy the home within the heart!”.
Time to sum it up
Humanity, support, and mutual assistance are the things no one can take away from us! So millions of us have not fallen into despair, have not given up, and do what we can every day — here and now. So that later, everyone can celebrate the victory of good over evil.
You can afford yourself the luxury of goodness!
Doing good is very simple!
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