When the missiles landed on her town, Kateryna decided to leave Ukraine with her young daughter. Her elderly parents were too sick to make the journey. She thinks of them all the time. ‘I live in constant stress and tension, reading the news, sending some money. You cannot leave it, your heart and mind stay there.’
Home for now is Chișinău, Moldova. She is a refugee, who comes to the Dignity Centre for food and other essential supplies. There is much uncertainty in her life, but here she feels safe, welcomed, normal.
Staffed by international volunteers, the Centre’s unique set-up humanises the experience of receiving aid. Refugees exchange points for items, making the experience feel more like visiting a friendly store than a cold and impersonal aid distribution centre.
‘It touches the hearts of the people who come here, how the volunteers come to support our Ukrainian people. We can see that we are not alone in our situation. We hope that the war will end soon and we can go back.’
Until then the Dignity Centre will continue to provide support for those, like Kateryna and her daughter, who have fled conflict through supplying food, warmth of atmosphere and thoughtful care.