Ukrainian women find refuge in Charleston family with connection to homeland
By Floriana Boardman (WCIV)
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Five different countries, and now, in Charleston, South Carolina.
It has been a long journey for three Ukrainian women seeking refuge from their war-torn country. But they have found a home in Charleston, even if they had to leave much behind.
Clothing, a couple of sweaters, and some documents.
That was the shortlist of items Liudmyla, Olesia, and Anastasia were able to take with them as they fled their home in Ukraine, leaving their whole lives behind.
“It is hard, but we are trying to keep it together for the child,” Olesia said.
Three generations: a grandmother, a mother, and her 8-year-old daughter stay strong for each other.
“Then one morning, at 5:20 in the morning, everything changed,” Olesia stated.
Coping with the unthinkable.
“When we heard the sounds at the beginning of the war, and the bombshells near us, our life has changed before and after,” Olesia said.
Reminiscing on the Ukraine they once knew, filled with happiness and love.
“Everybody was happy everybody would enjoy life, enjoy small things,” Olesia explained.
What they say was an ordinary life has turned into an ongoing nightmare that they are praying will end soon.
“In a civilized world, we should be able to solve conflict with words,” she added.
The couple hosting them, Tanya and John Burril, have ties to Ukraine.
Tanya was born and raised in Ukraine- and her entire family is still there. While she is coping with the emotions of having her family in the midst of a war, she is doing what she can to help.
“I imagine the same thing. It is my close family, and my friends, and they need a place to stay. I just hope they get the same kindness,” Tanya said.
If you would like to support the women, you can find a GoFundMe link here.
Right now, their greatest need is transportation, and they are hoping to find a used golf cart until they can afford a car.