Hi, I’m Tanya and part of Children’s Embassy Team. The team has become my family over the years. I love my job. Helping others, I help most of all myself.

My favourite photo from Friend’s House: Teddy Family

I used to work in Friend’s House (Ukraine); I spent time with the children and reflected our activities in our social media channels. Everything was fine, until the 24th of February…

Occupation, flight and integration….

Flight from war, in the woods

Russia attacked us. We woke up in the middle of explosions and didn’t know what to do next. Having survived the occupation in our village together with the children, we started the long flight to Sweden. I haven’t been able to get used to the life in another country during these five months. This turned out to be the most difficult thing for me.

Waiting for transport to the Polish border

We fled together with two families with children whom we had already been helping in Ukraine. This was something that helped me come to Sweden.

Foreign volunteers playing with children
A moment of rest at the border

It helped me control myself, to assume responsibility for others and to help mentally those who stood beside me.

Life in a strange land

The ship to Sweden is leaving

Well, here in Sweden, we experience no air attacks and hear no explosions. We are safe.

Many people say to me, “Oh, things are good with you.” Perhaps we are OK. I’m not complaining. But I have my habits and my restlessness. We have a home, but not what is most important – the feeling of home. Everything seems strange and hard to understand. Every day, I keep thinking all this is a dream and I’m going to wake up at home in Ukraine.

A school class in Eskilstuna

The Swedish school, the Swedish language and the Swedish legislation are by no means clear to me. Yes, Sweden is a beautiful country with lovely people. But I didn’t choose all this. I didn’t plan to learn Swedish, my kids didn’t plan to go to Swedish schools, we never planned to be strangers in another country. The war broke our dreams, our plans to live the familiar life at home. But we have what we have. Main thing, our lives were saved and we are safe now.

Helping others – I find help

Bowling and children’s smiles

It’s not easy to be refugee in a strange land with my four kids. It’s an immense help that I continue working in Children’s Embassy, just now here in Eskilstuna. Many Ukrainian families with children live here, and they need help and support.

War is frightening, war is death, war is despair. I’m not so much worried for myself as for my kids.

My country is the best one for me

Our village and Friend’s House before the terrible war…

I’m sorry that it took the war to show me that my Ukraine is the best country in the world. That my nation is the best one, our traditions are the best ones – because they are mine and it is my home. I’m looking forward to the day when I’m back home in my country – in Ukraine.

I wish to thank Mirjam, Boas and many others in Sweden and in other countries who help and take care of us Ukrainians. I sincerely believe that we will meet again in a free and peaceful Ukraine. There is a season for everything.

Tanya Verozub, Children’s Embassy Team

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