They have plans just like us
Andi arrived at the center right at the opening with two children. When the first bomb was dropped, she knew she had to go. The children are her treasure, so the most important thing for her is to keep them safe.
Tell me a little bit about you. How long have you lived in the center?
My name is Andi, I'm 34 years old and I came herewith my two children. We crossed the Hungarian border on March 1, and we livedin a sheltertill the middle of March. My spouce from Debrecen doesn't work too far. He had been working in Hungary before, but he only came home on weekends. He lived on a workstation, so we couldn't move where he was, we had to look for another option.
Children Jazmin (7 years old) and István (9 years old) were both in school, Hungarian class, but they were increasingly pushing Ukrainian classes in schools.
Where did you come from? How did you get to Hungary?
We lived in Beregszász, which is not far from the Beregsurány border. A stranger brought us to the border, we didn't know him, but he helped us. From the boarder we were transported to the shelter. And then we went to my partner's work dorm, where we couldn't stay long.
We were lucky at the border when we crossed, everything went smoothly. I was afraid it would be hard, because on TV, we saw a lot of people want to cross and had to wait for hours.
Where could you find refuge before you had arrived to the Refugee Center?
Before we came over to Hungary, we had a phone call for a host family. They lived in a small town next to Pest, but when we were on the way to them, they cought COVID, so we ended up staying with another family.
Altogether, we stayed with three families before the Refugee Center. We lived in Tiszapalkonya with the first family. We had a cabin, a kitchen, a bathroom, but we couldn't stay long, because they wanted to receive more refugee families. After that, an elderly family gave us a place for a short time.
They were very kind, we loved them very much, they helped us with everything. After we moved away from them, we still had contact with them on the phone. We were in Polgár at the last host family. They recommended us the Dorcas Refugee Centre. Through the Internet, they learned that they could accept refugees in the long term.
What were your plans before the war broke out?
We wanted to renovate the house a little bit. The stove was a problem. It smoked very much in the winter, and the whole house was filled with smoke, and, unfortunately, he it damaged István's lungs.
He has been very sick about it. I thought if spring came, I'd call a skilled professional, get the stove fixed, and the next winter it won't be a problem. Unfortunately, we didn't calculate with the war.
What did you do at home?
Since I was 16 years old, I had two manual jobs, worked in a tin factory for 10 years, and I went to maternity leave when the kids were born. After 3 years, I've worked in several places. I worked in factories or did heavier physical labour.
I like working, and in a factory, especially, I'm used to it.
At home, mothers find it hard to find a job. We don't have an opportunity in the morning shift. If there is no one to take care of children, then we can't do a job, I haven't worked for 2 years, and then my mother and I had to solve who is supervising the kids. As long as I 've worked, he took care of the little ones, and then for health reasons she couldn't handle it any longer. Her eyes became sick and she lost the eysight of one of her eyes.
She stayed in Beregszász, but we keep in touch every day. I'm trying to convince her that she would be better off here with me, taking care of her, but she doesn't want to leave her home. Now she's living with my brother, and she's helping him to do things around the house.
What are your plans for the future?
Probably we will start a new life here in Hungary. We wanted to move here in the past, but there was always a problem with the money and the papers.
My plan is to look for an apartment first, and later, I'd like to buy a house of my own. I'm trying to find a local school for the kids and a permanent job for myself.
How do you feel at the refugee center?
At first, it was strange that there was no TV. The kids are used to it, they always look at cartoons at home. But it was provided after a while. In our room, we have our own bathroom and four beds, so we are cofmfortable. We get on well with the other residents, and the with our next door neighbours we have a particularly good relationship.
I'm positive about things, I don't have big demands. The main thing for me is to keep the kids safe.
"It's better here than if we were always with a different family. We get warm food and they help us with the paperwork. What can go wrong? "