It doesn't matter if you are friends or not, everyone is ready to help
On February 23, after a typical day full of workouts, Oleksandra fell asleep with thoughts of new dancing projects. And the very next day, she was woken up at 5 AM by a call from her sister from Kyiv and was told that Russia had invaded Ukraine. Oleksandra did not believe it at first, considering that could not be true. She looked through the news feed and realized that the war had begun indeed.
From the very first day of the war, Oleksandra ’s friends from other cities, who were leaving for Western Ukraine, called her and asked her if they could stay for the night or if she can help find apartments. Oleksandra and the business co-owners realised they have 600 sq.m. that can help and turn the dance studio into a shelter for people who need one. Many people struggle to find at least some kind of housing in Lviv.
They brought things from their own homes to the studio: mattresses, blankets, mats etc. They asked for help on social networks and received a positive response from friends, students and even strangers. Oleksandra ‘s team receives humanitarian aid from Estonia, France and Great Britain. They distribute this aid to hot spots and send medications to hospitals.
There were a maximum number of 230 people in the studio for the first month. Someone stayed for 1-2 days and moved further abroad, someone lives there up to this day. Now the studio is hosting an average of 40-60 people. And it takes about $5,000 to maintain the studio and pay utility bills.
The most difficult thing for Oleksandra was to realize everything that was happening. Especially when a rocket fell near her house and the whole building and windows were shaken. Two families from Kharkiv and Chernihiv lived at Oleksandra ‘s house then. Everyone was very scared. Oleksandra is very inspired by people and all the stories about mutual help. It doesn’t matter if you are friends or not, everyone is ready to help. She says, when she hears about the victory, she will dance and jump above the sky.
Before the War
Co-owner and a teacher at a dance studio
Site of Operation