Olga Olenichenko, social activist, educational and cultural worker, social media manager and entrepreneur, is now tirelessly engaged in supporting and welcoming fellow Ukrainians fleeing bombardments in cities across Ukraine.
Olga has been chronicling her experience of the war so far, see click here to view all of Olga’s Chronicles.
Please help Olga to help others and donate to her Go Fund Me.
23rd – 30th March 2022
The content below was submitted to us by Olga, following days 28-35 of war.
Thank you so much to all of you who sent donations to help us with electricity bills and basic necessities for internally displaced families in our new shelters. It is such a great help. Here’s an update of how things are going.
Day 28: Finally, I paid attention to my children, and my goats
So much to do. But at last, some time to be with my boys.
Look what nature has given us amidst the war.
Day 29: Sofa troops with mobile phone weapons
Among the mobílízovanih forcedusovo, the sofa troops, those using mobile phones to carry out surveillance to dig out the men, gather them all and sent to the front sometimes even without guns. No choice, for to refuse is death, to fight is death. Lucky, if taken captive. Where is the sympathy for the occupied Ukrainians who have no rights, who are forced to fight and die, no more than cannon fodder? And I have relatives and acquaintances there who have not betrayed Ukraine. I’m scared for them. Wait, a little more, and the same mobilization will begin in occupied cities now if the war continues. And there will be no choice. The end is always the same.
Day 30: Fear
In occupation you can’t be free. People are forced to be careful with neighbours and even relatives. You can’t open your mouth. People are afraid to talk freely on the phone or text
Men are arrested on the street, taken from businesses during working hours, detained, disappeared. The occupied cities of Donetsk and Luhansk regions have no Ukrainian men. They even took the youngest boys of 16 years old, and the oldest aged 65.
Day 31: Giving
Think carefully about donating money to Red Cross (International Committee of the Red Cross) if you want to help Ukraine. There are plenty of smaller (often volunteer) Ukrainian organizations who’re capable of delivering fast help in much more effective and non-colonial way. If you want to donate to an international player, take a look at Caritas. They are capable of remaining true to their values and they do not overspend the donations on administrative and PR costs and costs for high-level meetings with Lavrov – despite the patronage of Catholic church, it works.
Day 32: Sushi and the taste of freedom
If now, there would be no taste.
But still I want to taste Sushi.
If, after the war, then I will eat with pleasure.
I want the taste of victory.
And maybe not even Sushi
Just the taste of freedom
War cannot stop Spring.
Day 33: No rights
It’s hard to respond to the massive needs in our beloved Ukraine. Imagine! Ukrainians are forcibly taken to Russia! Their Ukrainian passports are confiscated. Instead, they are issued with some papers, according to which there will be no rights – no right to leave Russia for 5 years! Imagine that!
Day 34: Healing wounds?
It’s been a struggle this week because I have been in pain. I put it like this:
The story of one tooth.
He occupied my mouth for 8 years with his problems.
Today I got rid of this occupant.
Let’s heal wounds and rebuild new bridges.
Every Ukrainian’s evening should be like this 🐦:
Day 35: The families in our shelters
Now there are four families in our shelters. Most of them are women and children. Only one is a male – as you know all men all called to war unless disabled or ill. We have six adults and five children staying with us. Two families are from Kiev region. One family is from Sumi and one is from Sloviansk in the Donetsk region. At present, the families are still very tired and need rest.
We have prepared comfortable spaces for them in a local building. Before, it was an office building.
We have had a great mobilisation of support from locals and managed to refurbish them all now.
The families are exhausted. We leave them to rest. We don’t ask questions. Slowly, though, I’m getting to know them. I’m talking to them a little bit when they feel like talking about their lives, their hobbies, their needs.
One woman is a journalist from the small city outside Kiev. It’s hard to find time to even talk to her about her profession but I will keep trying because I think it’s important to tell small stories about our people about their experiences.
Another woman is 63 years old. She came with her granddaughter who is five years old. At first, the grandmother couldn’t talk about her grand-daughter’s parents. But today she started crying and telling me her life story. I didn’t ask any questions at all but it came flooding out. I was just listening to her. It became clear that behind the war story of this grandmother and grand-daughter, there is a story of neglect. The grandmother decided to take her granddaughter somewhere to be safe both from war and safe from an abusive family.
If you want to help, you can go to these links to get more information:
Donate to help Olga: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-olga-help-internally-displaced-families
Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal: https://www.dec.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal
How you can help from the UK by donating cash and supplies: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2022/mar/05/ukraine-crisis-how-you-can-help-donating-cash-supplies
Contact: [email protected]