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Fleeing War, Finding Hope

Valeria and her little sister hid in the bathroom as gunfire erupted outside their home in Eastern Ukraine.

Valeria says, “We saw men shooting at each other in our yard right outside the window. They were yelling and we heard loud explosions. I was so scared and my sister kept crying. I just closed my eyes.”

Olga, Valeria’s mother, adds, “I held my daughters for two hours in the bathroom waiting for the violence to end. It was total chaos, with canons and rocket fire getting closer and closer to the house. Our home was on the frontlines.”

Fighting between Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces continued for months as the family tried to endure.

Olga says, “There was a little girl on a stretcher. One of her legs was blown off in an explosion. She looked just like Valeria and that scared me.”

They knew they couldn’t stay in Ukraine any longer. Because the family is Jewish, they made plans to flee to Israel.

“It made me sad,” Valeria says. “I cried a lot because I didn’t want to leave our home and my friends.”

Olga says, “We left everything behind, including our jobs. We didn’t know the language or how we would make ends meet in Israel.”

Then in her Hebrew class, Valeria’s mother, Olga, was told about CBN Israel. We made sure the family had food to eat. We also got them furniture, bedding, dishes, and some  clothes for the girls.

Olga says, “We are so grateful for CBN Israel. You ensured that my daughters were taken care of and that our family could start over.”  

Olga and her husband eventually got jobs working in a restaurant. Thanks to CBN Israel, the family got the help they needed during that difficult time, and now they have a new beginning.

“Your support is so important for people like us who have lost everything,” Olga says. “You encouraged and inspired us. Thank you.”

“You are doing amazing things to help others,” says Valeria. “I want to be like you and help others in the future, too. Thank you very much.”

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