It is very difficult to live on the occupied territory, but every day I find strength in what I do
On the night of February 24, Mariia and her husband were sleeping. At 6 am they were awakened by a phone call from a friend who said that the airport had been blown up in Melitopol and the war had begun. There was instant shock and panic. First of all, they got together with Mariia’s parents and discussed what to do. They went and fueled the car to be able to leave quickly. But Mariia and her family stayed at home.
Now Novovasilievka is under occupation. On the third day, looting began in Melitopol. The shops are closed, only markets were functioning. Everything is very expensive. People have no work anymore. On day 5, Mariia decided to start sharing her daughter’s clothes to help other moms. She posted on Instagram, people responded and also began to share things. Then Mariia collected food at home and from the neighbors, which she took to a family with many children. This is how her volunteer work began. The requests for help started coming. Only in the first week, about 70 requests came from people in need.
Humanitarian aid is not delivered to Novovasylivka, so Mariia collects money on her Instagram and from her neighbors. She prepares packages with food and essentials for the elderlly and large families who are not able to provide for themselves. She buys diapers and baby food. She has to travel to Melitopol and stand in huge lines at the pharmacy to buy medicines and many other things, fuel her car. Mariia says that life in the whole city seems to have stopped, it is on pause. And after the victory it will resume and everything will be fine and people will be happy. It is very difficult to live on the occupied territory, but every day Mariia finds strength in what she does. The fact that she can help people, feed children and make people smile.
Before the War
Site of Operation