The most valuable help is the one that comes in time
Fled from Uddevalla to Kyiv
Tanya lived in Sweden for 3 months. Like many other Ukrainians, she and her children fled from the war In March. From Kyiv, they first left for the Kyiv region. A few days later, her husband took his family by car to the Polish border — the place where millions of Ukrainian families were separated. Then, through Warsaw, they reached Polish Gdansk. They settled there in the Mother and Child Center. Two weeks later, they left for Sweden. There they stayed with friends in Uddevalla.
In safety, Tanya began to organize a new life. Her children went to school and kindergarten. She tried to do the best for them: she told them that this trip was an exciting adventure that would allow them to live in a new country. Everything turned out as well as possible. The school that Tanya’s son started was far from home, so the commune organized a taxi for him, which took him to school in the morning, where he spent time with friends from Ukraine and brought him home after classes. The boy felt happy – it felt like a real adventure for him.
The feelings of Tanya’s daughter were different. The three-year-old girl was missing her dad very much. Phone conversations were not enough for her. She wanted live contact and attention. Tanya began to notice how the child coddled the man in whose house they lived. Together with his children, the girl started to perceive him as a father. It was painful for Tanya to watch this, knowing how much their father missed the children.
That became the main reason why Tanya decided to return to Ukraine. So she started thinking about the route home. She found and bought the cheapest tickets from Stockholm to Gdansk. But the circumstances were such that she and her children needed to stay in Stockholm for several days before departure. Who could help them? She started looking for options: wrote messages in groups of help on Facebook, searched on Booking, and asked for help on the website of the project “Swedes for Ukraine” — where the family got help.
One family from Stockholm was ready to give shelter to Tanya’s family for a few days until they left for Ukraine. The Swedes met Tanya and her children at the train station in Stockholm after arriving from Uddevalla. They brought a Ukrainian family to their apartment in their car. They fed and prepared sleeping places. The next day, the Swedish family left for work, leaving the keys to the apartment — such trust surprised and touched Tanya. That day Tanya and her children walked around Stockholm, while life gave them a chance to visit this beautiful city. In the early morning the next day, the Swedes took the Ukrainians to the airport.
Now the family is in Kyiv. Tanya is happy to return home and the children are happy to meet their father again. Tanya is grateful to the Swedes for all the help she received from them: to the family with whom she lived for 3 months, and to the one with whom she lived for 2 days. The family that sheltered Tanya for 2 days in Stockholm apologized for not being able to do more. But sometimes no more is needed. The main thing is that they were able to help in time — just when the other person needed help the most. And that’s what makes it priceless. Because by opening the doors of their homes for just a few days, the Swedes supported two children and their mother in maybe their most important journey — the journey to the family reunion.