It was a sunny day in Kharkiv, Ukraine, when Anna (72) and her husband, Nikolay (75) arrived from Mala Danylivka village where they live now, to collect money from a cash program offered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Anna and Nikolay are retired doctors. Before the conflict in Ukraine began in April 2014, they lived in Stanytsia Luhanska. One night, they were violently woken up by a powerful blast. Two bombs had hit their house and the window of their daughter’s room collapsed over her. Yuliya (43) is a biology teacher but could not work at school anymore as the building was also damaged by the bombings. After the incident, Yuliya, who already had some mobility problems, could not walk because of the trauma and the family decided to leave their life in Stanytsia Luhanska for a short while and seek safety in the Kharkiv region. Nikolay tried to stay longer in their native city to take care of their properties, but last August he had to go to Kharkiv region to join his wife and daughter as the situation wasn’t getting better in Stanytsia Luhanska.