Ukraine - experience of escape and help

Refugee couple Svetlana and Maxim fled to Germany with their ten children. They lived with 11 children in a children's home built by our foundation "The Bridge to Life".

The 18-year-old foster son was not allowed to leave the country. Father Maxim came across the border because there are several underage foster children in the family.

Already in 2014, the family with the children had to leave their town and house in Lugansk region/ Eastern Ukraine because of the war. Now – after 8 years – they are on the run again. This time from the Nikopol region, where they had settled back then. And again because of renewed outbreak of war. At the beginning of the unrest, a bus was organized by an aid organization to bring some orphans out of the country. The couple was also offered to bring their foster children to safety in this way. With heavy hearts, they accepted. If it came to the escape, they would not have enough space in their family car for all the children. So, five children were brought to Spain.

The situation for all residents in the area became increasingly dangerous. The very next day, the family was ordered to leave the city immediately.

Maxim and Svetlana with their 10 children eating together

In a hurry and without much preparation, the couple got into the car with the remaining five children and drove off. After only a few hundred meters of driving, they heard the first attacks and the wailing of sirens behind them.

Grateful and relatively well and safe they arrived in Germany. A few weeks later and after intensive efforts, the foster children from Spain are now also reunited with the family. Here on site, they get help from the city. But they also receive support from the foundation and private individuals, be it in dealing with authorities or the numerous daily challenges.

As soon as the situation in Ukraine calms down, they aim to return home with all their children. "We have to go back. The war is taking many lives. Many children lose their parents in this war. That's where we are needed. Who else, if not us, can help these defenseless little victims? We must open our hearts and our homes to many more children who have become orphans " -- says Mama Svetlana again and again when we see each other.