We were very lucky and honoured here, at the Museum of Ryde, to have been visited recently by two Ukrainian ladies, Olha and Victoria. They were very interested in the Museum and soon after their arrival, we started chatting.
Olha fled the Ukrainian city of Kherson with her daughter and their cat a year ago and have faced many challenges since they arrived in the UK, including enrolling her daughter in school. Olha is an artist, writes poetry, and used to organize artistic events in Ukraine. She was even preparing to shoot a short film about Kherson’s streets, with the rehearsal already scheduled when the war started.
“That was the day they bombed airports simultaneously across the country. Public transport stopped running from our city. The frontline ran straight to our city and a week later we found ourselves under occupation. One morning changed our lives, and that of every Ukrainian family, forever.”
Victoria is a doctor, and worked as a paediatrician in Ukraine; she also fled the country with her daughter. She is struggling to get her degree recognised, but as Ukraine is not part of the EU, the chances are slim. Victoria has applied to work as a Healthcare Assistant, trying to help the healthcare professionals and share her knowledge, so that she can give something back in return for her safety in the UK.
But women feel the constant pain for Ukraine, so even though they are safe here, they are fearful for what is going on there…
More information about Olha and Victoria stories, here:
- some of Olhas poems about escape from the occupation…
Daddy says: “Take the stuff”. I am taking my hare.
The crayons and the album. Nothing more to be found.
Angelina’s a baby and Olena is seven,
Also Granny and Mommy. Cause the bangs are around,
Cause there’s nothing to eat, whispers Mom to the ceiling.
Angelina cries much from the permanent thunder.
Granny murmurs ‘Good Lord’, wants to go for revealing
What is left from the house but from out of under.
Cause the orks. I can’t sleep. They are hairy, gigantic.
Cover half of the sky, crush the shops and the classrooms.
The giant feet shake the ground in a dance of an antic.
We climb into the car. As that day when for mushrooms.
Just no laughing, no songs. Daddy’s eyes looking gravely.
Cause the tanks are ahead. And the cars with the puppets.
There are puppets inside, they are big and unshapely,
They are covered around in some runny tomatoes.
On the tank, there’s a small half a gnome, half a goblin.
I am looking at him, he is looking at Daddy,
Then abruptly the sky edge starts blinking and wobbling.
That’s the ork grabs the car tearing it very badly,
Cutting it with his teeth, and reducing to puppets:
Angelina, Olena, Granny, Mommy and Father.
Flows have spilt everywhere of the runny tomatoes.
Now I’ve seen the orc, I… am not scared any farther.