Unbreakable mom: "I found the strength to build a new life"

Doyna HURKO is an IDP from Horlivka. She is raising three minor children on her own. In 2014, due to the hostilities, she lost her home and job and was forced to seek refuge in peaceful Ukrainian territory.

Having passed through difficult trials of fate, the 30-year-old woman found the strength to start a new life and agreed to tell her story

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- I have only fond memories of my happy childhood and my parents with Horlivka. It was here that I started building my family, and later I had two children - my son Denis and daughter Yegeniia. It so happened that I was left alone with them. At that time, I had a decent job, my own home and felt quite happy. But not for long, until the hostilities and the aggressor's struggle to occupy my home city began.

Horlivka came under enemy shelling almost every day. I did not want to leave my home to the last. I thought and believed that the disaster would pass. I remember well the second of August 2014. A missile hit the apartment block where I lived with my children on the third floor. I will never forget the terrible sound, the roar and the shaking of the building. We survived by a miracle. Being in a state of shock, I immediately decided to take my children out. It became extremely dangerous to stay, and there was nowhere else to go. The house became uninhabitable. It was the last day when my old life remained there, in Horlivka, and the clock started ticking to build a new one.

We got to Pokrovsk, which I had never even heard of before, by an evacuation bus organised by Rinat Akhmetov's Charitable Foundation. Upon arrival, we were accommodated in the outpatient clinic in the village of Shevchenko of the Pokrovsk community. A son and daughter, a small pile of hastily packed belongings, a small amount of money in the pocket, a fear, a sense of pain and a certain hopelessness - that's what was left of my previous life. It was only thanks to the help of the village council administration, local residents and volunteers that we managed to survive. We stayed in the outpatient clinic for about a year, and then one of the villagers offered us to move into her empty house.

So the city of Pokrovsk and the village of Shevchenko became our second home. Now I don't even consider us to be IDPs anymore. I gave birth to my youngest daughter Alisa here. The children started going to kindergarten and then to school. It so happened that I was again left without a reliable male shoulder. But I do not despair, because as the head of the family, I have no right to be weak.

Today, I have a job I love at a grocery store. My children have grown up and become more independent, they help each other and me with the housework. I try to do everything I can to ensure that, despite the terrible events that are happening around us, they have a happy childhood.

The events in Horlivka, of course, had a negative impact on my emotional state. The real salvation in this matter was my participation in the Unbreakable Mom project. This is the Saving Lives humanitarian initiative, founded by Metinvest Group in coordination with Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. It aims to support women, mothers and children to stabilise their psycho-emotional state during the war, as well as develop their ability to adapt, self-realise and recover.

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The rehabilitation course took place at the beautiful Perlyna Karpat resort in the village of Slavske, Lviv region. Outdoor recreation combined with self-improvement accompanied by professional psychologists, art therapy and much more are good for me and my children. I came back to real life, overcame many fears, got answers to many questions, and most importantly, brought my emotional state back to normal.

I am grateful to Metinvest for this support. Mothers have to be strong. So I look forward with optimism, make my small victories and look forward to peace on our land.