We’ll call her “Babusya”, which means grandma in Ukrainian and is how her grandchild addresses her with affection. Babusya is an elderly, 84-year old Ukrainian woman who had to abbandon her home on a March evening under the bombs of the Russian army. After 17 hours of travel, Babusya arrived at the Romanian border. Here she was able to reunite with her grandchild who lives in Italy and leave the horrors of war behind her.
The Patrizio Paoletti Foundation took action from the first hours of the conflict, in collaboration with the Project Arca NGO Foundation, to send goods of first necessity and receive Ukrainian war refugees at the Romanian border. That is where our staff heard and picked up Babusya’s story.
Born in the Ukraine and grown up during the second World War, Babusya remained orphan. Her father died in battle, her mother was struck by a serious illness. She lived in the former republics of the Soviet Union such as Kazakhstan in order to then return to Ukraine. There she spent a great part of her life, raising her 4 children on her own, after becoming a widow. It wasn’t easy. And today she thanks the emergency vehicle drivers who, taking turns, drove 17 hours without interruption and gave her the possibility to reunite with her family.
Babusya’s voice betrays great emotion at having to say goodbye to her home so suddenly, in a single night. In her eyes you can read the tragedy of a senseless war that has shaken up entire existencies and separated families (Ukraine has forbidden able men from 18-60 to leave the country). There are already more than 3 million refugees, both women and children.
But in the words of Babusya and also in the words of her grandchild there is a longing for hope for the future. There’s a spark of resilience possible thanks to the many associations and thousands of staff, like the ones of the Patrizio Paoletti Foundation. We took action from the first hours of the conflict to receive those who fled from the war and give them hope for a life that is still possible.
Help us to help Ukrainian refugees in a process of reciprocal hospitality and inclusion, with a particular focus on children and their education.