#Ukraine Temporary protection card extended until 2025
Faces from Ukraine - Marianna

Faces from Ukraine: Marianna

“I only have my children. They are my life.”

Translation is available for this content

Váltás magyarra

“My two children gave me strength. And the knowledge that we will cross the border soon and we will be safe”, said Marianna, who fled from Ukraine from the war together with her two children in late February.

Faces from Ukraine - Marianna

“We lived in a small house in Chop, the children went to school, and I was trying to provide for them. What was it like to leave everything? Very difficult, I didn’t know what would happen, I didn’t know what awaited us – I only knew that I wanted to keep my children safe. I don’t have any other family here, I couldn’t lean on anyone: I only have my children. They are my life.”

Marianna’s husband died two years ago, and she lost her parents earlier. The majority of her more distant relatives stayed in Ukraine. The older ones can’t leave, and the men are not allowed to, since most people are enlisted in the army.

“The children were afraid for a long, very long time. We were already here, out of harm’s way, and they were still afraid, they fell asleep crying, no matter how I tried to calm them down – deep inside, I also cried”, tells Marianna.

First, they went to Slovakia. Crossing the border took two whole days for the enormous crowd. They could hardly bring anything from their old life with them. When they heard in the news that the war broke out, it was no question for them whether to flee.

Faces from Ukraine - Marianna

They spent two weeks in Slovakia, then they got into the Zugliget Nursing Home.

“I really wanted to be able to come here, I’d already had a distant relative here by then. She said that it’s safe here and they help with everything.” 

Within a few days after arriving in Budapest, Marianna found a job – she has been working as a kitchen aid since March.

“I really like working here, and I owe much to the directress who employed me. I tend to the children every morning, then I go to work. I arrive home in the afternoon, then I have time to do the washing and every chore.”

They aren’t planning to return home yet.

 “I would like to start a new life here with the children, they already go to school here, and I work. With time, I would also like to rent a small flat where we can live on our own. So far, there is nothing but despair at home in Ukraine.”


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Hungarian Helsinki Committee