Life on the Edge - Stories of Survival and Hope


Our foundation is in touch with the residents of the Dnipropetrovsk region, both with the hosts and with people who were forced to flee shelling and save their lives in safer areas of our country.

We have heard and continue to hear stories of lives that tear our hearts to shreds.

Stories of losing loved ones... of hiding in basements... of fleeing on foot through fields from occupied territories with nothing... of passing through 33 Russian occupiers' checkpoints to leave the occupied territory... of expecting the worst... of the fear of the unknown...

“First, we were hiding from shelling in basements. But as we realized the increasing danger, we decided to leave, although it was difficult to leave everything behind. The fear and uncertainty about what to do next became overwhelming. Hearing daily explosions and witnessing the destruction of our hometown left us drained. Moreover, the lack of water, electricity, and the cold in the apartments made it impossible to even survive there.”

(Valentyna and Olha from Serebrianka village, Bakhmut district)

“But in July 2022, fear and an overwhelming desire for protection brought me and my family (my nine-year-old son and my pensioner mother) to Tsarychanka. The war reached our home. We lived in the city of Nikopol, had an apartment, jobs. My son went to school. When the shelling began, it became very scary and dangerous.”

(Kateryna from Nikopol city)

“Military patrols moved around the city, stopping people and checking their phones. Men were forced to undress up to their underwear. The patrols and checkpoints had lists of people being sought by the russian fascists. It was extemely dangerous to stay in the city.”

(Rostyslav from Kherson)

“When the war started, I was very worried about my elderly grandparents - my grandfather and grandmother. They lived in Chasiv Yar, 6 km away from Bakhmut. But with their strong character and belief in victory, they stayed at home and didn't think about leaving. At that time, my grandfather was 83 years old, and my grandmother was 81… When I arrived, she was shocked. She still didn't want to leave. This was her home, her everyday life, her ancestral dwelling, the garden, the little orchard - it was her life, and now she had to leave. Where to? Why? After all, a counteroffensive and victory were imminent. But miraculously, I managed to convince her. We survived a night of shelling from Grad rockets in the neighboring district. And in the morning, we left. I reassured her that she would live in peace and tranquility, and enjoy the company of her two great-granddaughters. It was painful to see how difficult it was for her to leave her home. I reassured her that it wouldn't be for long, but I could sense that it might be forever. I try to comfort her, to take care of her. Although it's not easy to do all this. Her thoughts, heart, and soul are still there, at home. And she dreams of returning and finding inner peace in her homeland.”

(Stanislav from Petrykivka village, Dnipropetrovsk region)

“…occupation of our village by the russists, business destroyed, houses ruined, casualties and killing of people from our village. Parent’s house was struck and it put an end to our life at home which has no longer existed. We took a decision to go out from the basements and to move to Dnipropetrovsk region. We were three families with small children”

(Kateryna from Klymove village, Bakhmut district)

Fortunately, in Petrykivka, Tsarychanka, and Magdalynivka, these stories found their continuation, and people found their refuge and new home, although the longing for home never leaves their hearts.

“We dream of returning home because that's where our entire lives are. But there are only ruins there now…”

(Valentyna and Olha from Serebrianka village, Bakhmut district)

“We try to be useful and occupied to avoid thinking about how much we long to go back home. But now there is no way back. Our apartment is damaged, windows and doors are broken. And after Kahovska HPP was blown up, there's a new problem – a complete lack of water supply in the city. It hurts, deeply in my heart.”

(Kateryna from Nikopol city)

“We have settled in nicely here, but we are already thinking about returning. We really want to go back home”

(Olena, Halyna and Liudmyla from Sloviansk city Donetsk region)

“I eagerly await the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, to drive away the putinists as soon as possible. How much more destruction and death is needed for them to finally provide weapons and the opportunity to repel the occupier? Who will need all this scorched and lifeless land? Words cannot describe the pain or what a person goes through when their soul is taken away from them, especially at such an age. An old tree cannot be transplanted, it won't take root.”

(Anna Sergiivna, born in 1941, from Chasiv Yar, 6 km away from Bakhmut)

“My family plans to visit them and bring some treats. I never thought life would turn out this way, that in the twilight of their lives, people would be forced to flee from enemy shells, leaving behind everything they had acquired over the years.”

(Natalia from Petrykivka village, Dnipropetrovsk region)

“When these hard times are over and a peaceful life has come, we’ll again be gathering in the garden. In the meanwhile, I don’t visit my village house so as not to disturb its new residents [IDPs]. This is my can-do contribution to these brave people’s life.”

(Liudmyla from Dnipro city)

“When these hard times are over and a peaceful life has come, we’ll again be gathering in the garden. In the meanwhile, I don’t visit my village house so as not to disturb its new residents [IDPs]. This is my can-do contribution to these brave people’s life.”

(Liudmyla from Dnipro city)

Due to the full-scale war, approximately 5 million people were forced to leave their homes and settle in other areas of Ukraine. More than 8 million people have fled abroad since the Russian Federation's invasion on February 24, 2022, and approximately 2 million people have already returned to Ukraine. Currently, there are an estimated half a million internally displaced persons (IDPs) residing in the Dnipropetrovsk region.

Human kindness, as well as human cruelty, knows no bounds. People with big hearts open their homes to families from temporarily occupied territories, from places like Bakhmut, Kherson, Mariupol... Many of them do this voluntarily, offering material and psychological support to help others withstand and reintegrate into life.

We want to live in a free and thriving Ukraine, and we firmly believe that our country begins with its people. Indifference, active civic engagement, and support for those in need are the qualities that will strengthen our society. That's why we continue to support the initiative of people who have voluntarily provided shelter to displaced persons. During the heating season from January to May 2023, we disbursed a total of 2,445,100.00 UAH in financial aid to 430 hosts, housing approximately 1,500 IDPs, within the territories of three communities in the Dnipropetrovsk region, covering their utility expenses. Payments were made monthly to the hosts' bank accounts, following our foundation's policy. Words of gratitude from the people inspire us and keep us moving forward, never allowing us to stop:

“Thank God, a young woman who works in the foundation called us and offered a financial assistance in case we were providing a free accommodation to the refugees. Due to this compensation, we were able to do a good deal without a financial burden on ourselves.”

(Liudmyla from Dnipro city)

“During the winter, we were also helped with humanitarian aid, with finances. Iskra Voly Charitable Foundation assisted with heating expenses”

(Anna Sergiivna, born in 1941, from Chasiv Yar, 6 km away from Bakhmut)

Our foundation, along with our partners, continues to develop other charitable projects. The implementation of these projects will promote the integration of internally displaced persons (IDPs) into the social life of local communities where they have found shelter. It will also improve the moral and psychological well-being of people, ultimately contributing to the building of a resilient and conscious civil society. In such a society, fundamental rights, freedom, and social protection are guaranteed to every individual, and their lives are considered the greatest value. You can join and support our activities here.

історії виживання та надії
історії виживання та надії

Contact information

Ukraine, 01033
Kyiv city, Tarasivska street, building 9-V
CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION “ISKRA VOLY” CHARITABLE FOUNDATION”

Identification code 44678496

Chairman of the Foundation - Sergii DAVYDENKO

Extract from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs and Public Organizations

Date and entry number in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs and Public Organizations
27.07.2022 , 1000681070002063449

Activity types
88.99 Other social work activities without accommodation, n.e.c


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