Refugee family in the Šafařík mill: we are afraid of not having a bigger apartment

After Russian troops invaded Ukraine, they quickly agreed that Václav would charge Vitaliy, whom the locals would only call Víťa, and reach the border for his wife Zoryana and sons Vladislav (6.5 years old) and Denis ( 5). The wife and children were accompanied to the border by my grandfather, Father Zorjana. However, he remained in Ukraine. “She keeps the house. We live in the west of the country and a large number of refugees from the east are still driving in this part,” says Vitaly.

Visa and school

About a week after arriving in Nymburk, Zorjana was granted a tolerance visa. They also want to apply for a children’s passport, but at the moment the embassy is inundated with requests. It is not yet known when the children will receive the necessary documents.

Zorjana is a geography and biology teacher. She quickly began looking for establishments where her sons could go, and she could also apply. For a week they went to a group of children at RAF Aviation Elementary School in the housing estate. Then the director of Comenius Elementary School took the floor.

Mission accomplished! The owner of the mill brought the Ukrainian family to Nymburk

“My wife understands when she speaks Czech, but she can’t speak on her own. She interviewed Comenius in English. Then they told her that she could take care of the children of the group that went to the establishment U Mašinky and that she could take her children there with her. Which does not bother her, but there are children much older than our two. It is a big problem for our children, who find it difficult to get in contact with so many older children. And they also learn things that they wouldn’t need to know at their age,” described Vitaly, who travels from Zdar to Nymburk to visit his family only for the weekend. -end.

Therefore, both spouses would like the children to be able to return to their peers at RAF Letcov Elementary School. The woman would take them to the housing estate in the morning, then she would be alone with Mašinka with other children and she would take them back,” Vitaly tries to find an exchange.

Housing and money

Since arriving from Ukraine, the family has lived in a one-room apartment in the Šafařík mill, where Václav Šíma temporarily housed them. That was enough for an immediate fix, long term it’s of course not ideal for a family of four. Šíma has found them accommodation in a housing estate, but Vitaly fears that he will not be able to pay the standard rent yet.

“Of course we would need a bigger apartment, but the prices are huge for me. We can now receive support for three months, but then what will happen? The children will probably go to school normally from September, as it will be with their wife’s job, it’s not at all certain. And to move in there now and find out that we don’t have it after the holidays, we better keep him in the current apartment”, thinks the father of the family of the difficult situation.

A children's group with 26 Ukrainian children has been operating at the RAF Elementary Aviation School since Monday 21 March.  They are children from 5 to 11 years old.

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Zorjana takes a Czech language course in a medical school located a few steps from the apartment. However, she would welcome someone to babysit. “It’s just not possible to leave the boys alone at this age. And unfortunately I’m away for a week,” Víťa said.

children and war

Fortunately, the children still tolerate the unexpected separation from the house. Parents don’t talk much about the war in Ukraine in front of them. But when they fled the country, they saw theirs. “Even though we left on Saturday, the third day of the war, there were convoys of tanks and soldiers everywhere. They know why we are here. But we don’t go on the news in front of them. Well sure, they will gradually learn how they will grow up. My wife and I watch the news on the phone,” says the father, who plans to stay with his family in the Czech Republic permanently.

He misses his stepfather and other relatives who remained in the occupied country. He lives in Termopil, where more than 200,000 people lived before the war. The city lies on the main railway line between Lviv and kyiv. “My stepfather was used to our children. His wife and daughter left for America many years ago and live there. Now his second daughter and grandchildren were gone, and he remained there. We know that he is sad and often cries,” says Vitaly.

Although the town and region where they lived is still relatively safe from the horrors of war, this is not absolutely true. “People from there told me that they saw rockets flying over their houses, which were fired from the sea and heading towards Lviv. They see the rockets flying!!! scared even from afar”, Vitaly Byalyk describes his concerns with emotion. He is, of course, happy that his family has been relocated to Bohemia. However, it will be some time before their lives return to at least a bit of normal.

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