Stela and Kira: Two Hearts, Two Backgrounds, One True Friendship
This heartwarming friendship blossomed between the two girls, on the high-school benches, in Cluj Napoca, where Kira, 16, and Stela, 15, were brought together by fate, despite their diverse backgrounds.
With a simple glance exchanged and a quick smile, Stela knows already what's on Kira's mind. They met a year ago, and since then, they have spent days and months talking about everything, becoming best friends.
This heartwarming friendship blossomed between the two girls, on the high-school benches, in Cluj Napoca, where Kira, 16, and Stela, 15, were brought together by fate, despite their diverse backgrounds. Kira, a Ukrainian refugee, and Stela, a local Romanian girl, proved that language and cultural barriers were no match for the power of their genuine connection.
"We came to school at the start of the year, and we didn't talk to each other at the very beginning. We started slowly to talk a little bit," recalls Stela. Their initial interaction took place on the sports field during a football game. Kira, impressed by Stela's goal, couldn't help but express her admiration. "Wow, that was cool," Kira said, sparking the beginning of their friendship.
As days turned into weeks, they started to spend more and more time together. The five-day school trip became a turning point for their friendship as they shared a lot of experiences and stories during that period. "We spent a lot of time together there. After that, we started to talk more and more, every single day," Kira shared.
"I like that this friendship is based on honesty, I don't feel scared to tell her what I believe about certain things", says Stela, describing their connection. They have discovered that they think alike most of the time, even though their backgrounds and life experiences are different.
“Even though we are similar in many ways, we are also kind of different. For example, I am calmer sometimes, and Kira has more energy, and we are in some sort of balance this way. We always have something to talk about and I enjoy it,” Stela explains.
"In our spare time, we go out for a walk in the park, talking for hours," Kira shares. Stela lives close to the historical center of Cluj, and the girls spend most of their time having fun there. "We never get bored," Stela confirms, underlining the fact that they never ran out of things to discuss.
Their shared interests, from favorite foods to a mutual love for sports, were also important for their strong friendship. “It is also our mentality. The way we think about things and the way we see situations is similar,” recalls Kira.
The changing of seasons will bring a new test for their friendship, as Stela reveals. "I will move to the United States for a year so it is going to be difficult, but we will keep in touch. It's not going to be the same, but we will see what it's going to be like. We will call each other for sure and keep in touch through messages."
Being aware that her best friend will be a continent apart for a year, Kira acknowledges the test ahead with optimism, as she prepares to step into a new school year in Cluj. "I'll keep in touch with Stela for sure, and I hope we will be together for Christmas," Kira anticipates.
In autumn, Kira will find solace and support among her fellow Ukrainian friends at the UNICEF-supported Ukrainian hub, where she has been going already with her little brother, Matvii, 11. This hub, a haven for Ukrainian children like Kira, nurtures not only education but also a profound sense of belonging and camaraderie. Founded by PATRIR in Cluj-Napoca, with UNICEF support, this hub stands as a testament to the power of compassion and collaboration in creating a bridge for young hearts to integrate easily and flourish in their new home of Romania.