“We drove right into the flames”

Sasha is planning to turn the fragments of a shell that hit her family’s second home into accessories – something to remind her of the lucky coincidences that saved her and her family’s lives

UNICEF, The Village
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UNICEF
08 August 2022

The war found 21-year-old Sasha and her 14-year-old brother Ivan living in Brovary, a city in the Kyiv region. On that first morning, they were woken at 4:30 by the sounds of a bombardment.

The family’s first instinct was to flee to their second home. But, while the intense shelling made this impossible, they later learned that this had saved their lives – a rocket had hit the apartment.

After days of violence, Sasha and her father drove to Kyiv to pick up a friend’s cat that had been left alone. On the drive home, the pair were nervous and her father had to race to beat the curfew. Suddenly, a bright orange light engulfed everything and a blast threw the car two lanes over. Sasha’s father only managed to survive by holding onto the steering wheel. 

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Shaken, they drove home past burning cars, as concrete blocks and debris hit their windshield. 

“The road in front of us was on fire. But we drove right into the flames, because to stop would have been even scarier.” 

Later, Sasha and Ivan decided to start helping others in their city, coordinating volunteers to deliver food and medicines to nearby villages. They also helped to purchase supplies.

“It’s easier to endure the constant rocket fire when you’re queueing in front of a pharmacy than when you’re sitting at home,” explains Sasha.

Sasha is planning to turn the fragments of a shell that hit her family’s second home into accessories – something to remind her of the lucky coincidences that saved her and her family’s lives.

 

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UNICEF and partners continue supporting people in need. The UNICEF-supported national toll-free Child Helpline and a hotline for the social workforce are providing online consultations to children, caregivers and youth. At least 17,000 calls were received, including 14,000 from children, and more than half (54 per cent) of the calls were referred to social protection centres, the police, legal aid services, mental health service providers, and NGOs.