Vladyslav and Vlada's Story

The Importance of Family

Vladyslava and Vlada are one of the thousands of couples who have fled to Moldova due to the conflict in Ukraine.

Millions of people now live as refugees across Europe, having fled to neighbouring countries like Moldova, Poland, and Romania. Read on to learn about Vladyslav and Vlada’s story and how family has played an important role in their journey.

Fleeing Ukraine

18-year-old Vladyslav and 19-year-old Vlada have been a couple for four years.

They were students at the Ukraine University and spent their time studying foreign and Ukrainian literature, walking to the park, and going to work. Life was good.

But everything changed when the bombing started. As soon as their windows began to tremble, they knew they had to leave.

Vlada told us: “There was an occasion when the missile fell and after that the windows shook. We live a little out of the city in a suburb and we had such a scare. We just packed everything we could and left. It was very scary. The sirens… very scary.

The couple packed up the basic essentials, including documents and money and a few pieces of clothing. Two hours later, they were in the car heading for Moldova.

When they arrived at the Ukraine border, the queue to leave the country was long and they were forced to wait one day and one night.

Vladyslav said “It was a very long queue. The cars. It seemed like everyone decided to come to Moldova and we drove here the next day.”

Surviving as a Family

After a long journey, Vladyslav and Vlada arrived in Moldova with their families.

Vladyslav’s grandmother, Tatiana, lives in Moldova and the couple is now staying there with their family members. There are more than 10 people living in the house, but thankfully there is enough space.

They now spend their days going for simple walks, and doing domestic chores like cooking and washing. They can still hear the sirens from Ukraine, but it is much calmer in Moldova.

In April 2022, ShelterBox was able to provide cash assistance to help with the financial burden of being displaced. They spent the money: “On food. On products. The most important things. We don’t pay rent with Granny, we help around the house with the chickens, geese and there is also a vegetable garden. My grandma is old, and we ought to help her.”

When we asked how their grandma felt about the arrangement, they laughed and said: “She is very happy. Regularly hugging and kissing. She loves us very much.”

The Meaning of Home

The couple hope to one day return to Ukraine, get married, and start a family. But that has to wait until the war is over.

“We have only one hope that the war will end soon. But our hope is very small. Our future plans are to go back to Ukraine. We hope that everything will be fine and people will stop dying.”

For now, their families will help each other through as they settle into their new life in Moldova.

Vladyslav told us: “Home means family to me. Home is where it is warm and good and you feel safe.”

Thank you to our supporters who made this response possible and helped families in Ukraine and around the world!

A Ukrainian man and woman hold hands. On his arm there is a tattoo that says
Vladyslav's new tattoo - a tribute to the day he met Vlada.


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