"We all dream of being home again"
With a newborn in her arms and two teenagers, the mother set off into the unknown. The mother of the family, who was forced to flee, now shares her story with us, how she arrived at the Refugee Center and tells us about how hopeless the situation is on the other side of the border.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I'm Zita, 30 years old. I have three children, the oldest is 12 year old Roland, the middle one is 7 year old Ketrin, and the youngest is 11 month old Daniel. We came to Hungary from the Beregszász district and have been living in the campsite since May. Hungary is different from Ukraine in many ways, but since we have been living here for more than half a year, we are getting used to the customs and rules. And the people are very nice to us, which is good.
The children's father didn't want to come with you?
Their father stayed in Ukraine, he has not been drafted yet, but he is afraid that he will be taken away as well. He doesn't want to leave our home. I am worried about him, as he is the father of my three children, but for me the children's safety comes first.
After crossing the border, where did you find shelter?
We came through the Beregsurány border crossing, there was a center for refugees at the border, and they helped us there. Before we arrived in Dorcas, we were in Biharkeresztes for more than two months. We had a different accommodation than here. Several of us lived in a dormitory temporarily closed together. We were transported here by bus from there, so I already knew many residents before we got here.
We love our current place, it's homely, everyone has their own place. We have a separate room with beds and a bathroom, which you don't have to share. When we arrived here, we lived in the summer wooden house, we had a good place there too, but this one is much more comfortable. We also really liked the neighbors.
When did you realize you had to go?
Already in January, it happened several times that the electricity went out for days. I gave birth to little Daniel at the beginning of the year, and with a newborn it was even more worrying in the dark house in the winter. In the middle of February, they started saying on TV and radio that the situation is not improving, that we should prepare for the worst. That's when we really started to panic, we felt that we were no longer safe.
"The children also saw it in us because we cried a lot. Everything was uncertain, what would happen if the war broke out, what would happen to us. And the older children have learned that there is a need to be afraid."
At that point I decided to run away. I was desperate, I set off on foot completely alone with the 3 children, because I knew I had to leave the country. At the time, I didn't know where to go, but eventually we managed to reach the border. We didn't take anything with us, we didn't pack anything, what we had on us was our only value.
"Men were also afraid to sleep. They hung around outside at night, hiding so that nothing would happen. Or if something were to go wrong, they can at least save the children."
Transcarpathia is not being bombed yet, but there were those who had already been taken as soldiers against their will. We have a 17 year old boy in our family who was taken and conscripted. Sometimes we talk, he says that he lives in fear because his life is not safe.
If the situation were to improve, did you plan to return to Ukraine?
Of course! We all dream of being home again. We would like to return to Ukraine as soon as the war is over. There is our life, our house, we got used to that place, we grew up there. We feel good here too, because we are surrounded by good people, we are grateful that they accepted us, but this place is not our home.