The Story of the Lysko Family from Ukraine: When the Hope for a Better Tomorrow Prevails Over the Fear
The Russian invasion of Ukraine which began on February 24, 2022, has caused a huge humanitarian and refugee crisis. Data as of July 24 indicates that at least 5,237 people, including 348 children, have lost their lives because of the war, and at least 7,035, including 560 children, have been injured. According to statistics, over 6.3 million Ukrainian citizens are located in various European countries. There are currently 85,119 Ukrainian citizens in Bulgaria.
Among them are the Lysco family – Igor, Olga, Nina, Anton, Lidia and Miroslava. They decided to flee the war and seek safety and protection. They left their homeland, leaving behind their home, Nina’s husband, who was mobilized, and the husbands and sons of Lidia and Miroslava, who were also subject to mobilization. They had a long trip to Bulgaria during which three-year-old Anton became ill with a virus infection. His condition was brought under control thanks to Red Cross volunteers stationed along the borders and he improved relatively quickly.
Already in Bulgaria, the Lysco family was referred by a relative to the P.U.L.S. Foundation – a long-term partner of ours that from the very beginning of the invasion announced their readiness to provide support to those arriving in our country, and that we supported through BFW’s Emergency Fund for Women and Children Affected by the War.
Our colleagues from P.U.L.S. welcomed the family to an apartment that was specifically reorganized to meet the needs of those fleeing the war, and that became the Lysco family’s new home. They assisted them with the issuance of documents to obtain temporary residence status in the country for the period of one year as the family shared their desire to return to Ukraine as soon as possible.
Soon after moving into the apartment, Nina found out that she was pregnant with her second child. She welcomed the news with mixed feelings given the situation and the fact that her husband was mobilized in Ukraine. With P.U.L.S.’s support, the family made an appointment with a general practitioner, and Nina’s pregnancy has been followed up regularly by an obstetrician-gynecologist. For now, everything is going normally. She expressed her hopes that the baby, expected in November, will be born in her homeland.
P.U.L.S. Foundation’s efforts did not stop there. They helped Igor, Olga, Lidia and Miroslava to start work at a cosmetics production company in Radomir. The roles they occupy are based on their qualifications and health status, and after their probationary period expires, they will be appointed to permanent employment contracts. This will very much contribute to their financial independence and make them feel responsible for their lives again.
Meanwhile, a network of supporters and friends formed around the family, and helps to provide them with everything they need for their stay in Bulgaria – from the most urgently needed supplies, such as food, clothes, shoes, and bed linen to electrical appliances and support to cover the monthly bills. Last but not least, they now have two computers that allow them to stay in touch with their relatives who remain in Ukraine. And with Lydia – who decided to return to her homeland to be closer to her son and husband.
Given what they went through and the real risk of triggering traumatic experiences, the members of the Lysko family who remained in Bulgaria visit psychological counseling services with the experts from P.U.L.S. Foundation and are in regular contact with them. Thanks to the funding provided by BFW’s Emergency Fund and other donors who support the cause, the Foundation is now providing counseling to more refugees, and since June – a shelter to six more people.
The Bulgarian Fund for Women is among the organizations that have contributed to providing long-term support to families fleeing the war. The Emergency Fund for Women and Children Аffected by the War in Ukraine remains open. You can donate to the cause through PayPal and Epay HERE with the reference “Emergency Fund – Ukraine”.
To date, the Fund has been supported by a number of companies, private foundations and women’s funds – Melon, Raw and More, Nuevo LTD, Ald Automotive, Kesher, Mama Cash, Foundation Chanel, Nexo, NAOS, Tina, SAP Labs Bulgaria, as well as 75 individual donors.