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Faces from Ukraine - József

Faces from Ukraine: József

“If the war will be over, I’ll take my family home.”

Translation is available for this content

Váltás magyarra

József Farkas has been working in the construction industry since he was 15. He arrived in Budapest from Chornyi Potik in Zakarpattia Oblast one month before the war broke out, to work. In recent years, he worked in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and several times in Hungary. His brother invited him to Budapest in January, where the prime contractor rented him and his wife Sveta a flat. On the first day of the Russian attack, their smaller daughter called them, horror-struck, that the neighbours were packing and people were fleeing from the village.

Faces from Ukraine - József

“When the war broke out, I asked the boss whether I could bring the family here. He said of course, let them come.” József pays the sublet in Kőbánya on a fifty-fifty basis with his boss, that’s why he needed his consent. So József’s daughter and her two minor children departed from Chornyi Potik.

“I wouldn’t have thought that the war would drag on this much, I thought it would last for 1-2 months. It hasn’t reached us around Vynohradiv, but there’s already no work, and the prices skyrocketed. People live with difficulty at home.”

József is worried about their house. It will decay during the winter if it won’t be heated and ventilated, so he travels home sometimes. He already doesn’t have to be afraid of the draft because he is over sixty.

“We have a large courtyard, the children always played outside with the neighbour’s turkeys, it was a joy to watch them. Here in the condominium, they are constantly inside, they can only go down when we arrive home with my wife. Then we take them to the playground.”

Faces from Ukraine - József

With his wife, they wish they could return home: “If the war will be over, I’ll take my family home. Thank God we have a good house, we even bought one for our bigger daughter in the village. We have to renovate it yet, to put it in order. Of course, had we known there would be a war, we wouldn’t have put all the little money we had in it last December. I wouldn’t leave what I have created all my life. We hope that when the war is over, they will rebuild Ukraine and there will be order.” 


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Hungarian Helsinki Committee