Selfish Altruist Natasha

Volunteering helped me survive

Natasha, a Ukrainian ethnic Russian, was living in Odesa at the time of the invasion in February 2022 but left within a month to escape the air raids and be with her parents in Moldova.

Looking for a better life, she travelled to Austria with other Ukrainian families and found herself in Insbruck with food and shelter but without the things that give life meaning.

A born helper, well-travelled and a gifted, multi-lingual communicator, she played a key role with the group’s orientation, language learning and employment. This volunteering was difficult but also very satisfying. As she said, it “helped me to survive and not to get crazy”.

She is now living in Moldova and volunteering at the welcoming Chisinau Dignity Centre where she has found another fulfilling role, supporting people who have lost everything in a place that gives them so much.

By helping people like her, Natasha talks movingly about how she is helping herself. Please listen:

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