Published: Wed 24th August, 2022
As part of Ukraine Independence Day on August 24, Oksana has shared her story after travelling with her family from Dnipro in Ukraine to Loughborough. They arrived in April and are currently staying in a house offered by a host family.
Oksana said: “The trip was exhausting and took us three weeks to get from our native city Dnipro to Loughborough. The route was through all areas of Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Netherlands and London and then finally we got to Loughborough.
“Charnwood is a lovely place and very welcoming. I would like to thank the council and others as they have welcomed us, supported us, and organised a social event where we met other Ukrainians.
“We have left behind my parents, many friends and colleagues who stayed in Ukraine. Part of me is still in Ukraine and our thoughts and prayers are with those who defend our country and those who don't have a chance to leave the country.
“I could not believe until the last day that a military invasion could take place in Europe in the 21st century.
“I hope the war will be over as soon as possible and millions of Ukrainians will be able to go home.
“I hope that all Ukrainian territory will become united as it was before 2014. I wish my country to become truly independent and a strong and safe place.
“I wish not only Ukrainians could come back to their homes, but also that people from all over the world who have helped support and host Ukrainians will one day be able to visit Ukraine and have the opportunity to discover the traditions of our amazing country.
“My message for people in Charnwood is that please value everything you have including the people around you, your country, your homes, your facilities and your independence.
“For those who are still thinking about whether to host a Ukrainian family, please be mindful as it is a very responsible decision. Ukrainians who are coming to the UK are anxious and under stress and they need to find a safe place. We have to start a new life from scratch here. That's why we rely on your support, patience and understanding.”
“Thank you to all Charnwood residents who have taken a decision to host Ukrainians. It is an honoured action and we will never forget this.”