Life in the Conflict Zone: A Mother’s Story from Chernihiv, Ukraine

Chernihiv lies less than 40 miles from the Russian border and has been taken, liberated, and retaken by Russian troops several times since the conflict began.

While the central city has seen significant aid from around the world, the villages scattered across the Oblast region are beyond the reach of helping hands. As a result, the population continues to suffer.

20231126_UkraineAlive2022_100_relief_package_on_rusted_vehicle_©_Oro_Whitley_GGC_Ukraine_Response copy
Photo © Oro Whitley

Alongside our partner, Ukraine Alive, Greater Good Charities is working in several remote villages, providing life-saving food, blankets, and clothing to help people through the winter.

20231126_UkraineAlive2022_090_yellow_socks_©_Oro_Whitley_GGC_Ukraine_Response copy
Photo © Oro Whitley

Nothing Was Left

Iryna, a young mother of three, has lived locally for 14 years. Her husband has lived there since he was a child. Standing on what once was the porch of their home, Iryna starts to tell her story.

“I woke up to the sound of an explosion around 5:00 AM. At first, I thought I heard it wrong. When the second explosion occurred, I woke up my husband, and by the third explosion, our bedroom walls started to shake. We quickly got up, not knowing what to do. There was a missile strike in the street over there and another one directly here. Nothing was left.”

20231126_UkraineAlive2022_058_mother_and_child_on_destroyed_home_©_Oro_Whitley_GGC_Ukraine_Response copy
Photo © Oro Whitley

Since then, while her husband is away fighting for his country, Iryna and her three children have lived in temporary housing, often facing energy blackouts and with little money for food.  

“I would like the war to end so we stop wondering whether we will wake up tomorrow. Every family here is in a bad financial state, and your support is very important. The street we are on has 80% of the buildings destroyed. We are left with nothing, but life continues, and we need blankets and food. It is very nice that we are not forgotten and we are supported. I feel happy and grateful that we are not left alone here.”

Relief for Families like Iryna’s

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Greater Good Charities and its local partners have provided over 11 million meals to families in need. We also distributed Winter Relief Kits containing warm blankets, clothing, candles, and food to people like Iryna and her neighbors.

20231126_UkraineAlive2022_070_staff_chatting_on_distribution_truck_©_Oro_Whitley_GGC_Ukraine_Response copy Photo © Oro Whitley 

By becoming a protector, you can send aid year-round to families like Iryna’s, and we can send hope in the face of the ongoing war in Ukraine.