«I remember the times when it was quiet and peaceful. First we heard strange sounds, we could not understand what it was until the shells from the sky began to fall on the house. From that moment our tragedy began,» – says with tears in his eyes Hennadii, resident of Vodiane village.
Vodiane is a village in the Mariupol district near the contact line, which was seriously damaged during the war. Now only nine people are living there.
«In 2014, shells hit the city market in Mariupol. My son and grandchildren were there. Son covered the children with his own body, rescuing him from the explosion. Since then we hate fireworks. The granddaughter still shudders and cries… While before the war it was a joy. »— quietly adds Hennadii.
Due to the shelling, Vodiane was left without electricity for a long time, in fact – literally cut off from civilization. The main source of drinking water was and still remains the rainwater, and the one only well in the village, where the city administration recently installed a pump, located in the area that is under fire. However, Hennadii says that by the end of 2020, drinking water was also supplied to them by the employees of ADRA, and now the village administration is negotiating to restore the water supply.
Hennadii’s neighbor Maryna still has trembling hands when she remembers the first bombings. She said that back then they were forced to take security measures: they had to live in basements for a long time, with small food supplies and drinking water of questionable quality and freshness. But there was no choice – their only wish was to survive.
The already difficult situation is complicated by the lack of a medical facility in Vodiane – the simplest medical service is situated tens of kilometers in the nearest village. Moreover, there is no regular transport connection with Vodyane since 2014, so there is almost no possibility to leave the village.
Zoya is a lonely woman who survived the hardest and most terrible moments of the war and is incredibly happy about the visit of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P). She perfectly understands what our colleagues had to go through to find out how the locals live, to provide them with the necessary assistance, and to inform them about the possibility of receiving compensation for the destroyed (damaged) housing – the only road to the village is seriously damaged.
Smiling sadly, Zoya tells how her goat Zoika runs to the house and hides, signaling that there will be a shelling soon, persuading Zoya to run to a safe place too.
But despite all the horrors of war, people do not lose their unconditional faith that this land is the source of their life energy – the trees, the people, the animals – they all protect, defend and give strength and unshakable hope that every “tomorrow” will be better than today.
And, looking into the eyes of these extraordinary people, you involuntarily charge with their confidence that everything will be fine.