Marharyta Levashova is a mother of three sons who has suffered a series of painful losses since the start of the war. The 57-year-old woman lives in the village of Petropil in Zaporizhzhia region and works as an assistant teacher at a school.
Marharyta became a participant in the Unbreakable Mom charity programme from Masha Foundation and the Saving Lives Humanitarian Initiative of Metinvest Group, which aims to stabilise a psycho-emotional state, prevent PTSD, and develop an ability to adapt, self-realise and recover.
Marharyta's eldest son Denis, a reserve officer, was mobilised into the Armed Forces of Ukraine. For seven months, the man defended the country as part of a mechanised brigade of the Land Forces in Donetsk sector. In October 2022, he went on a mission to a village near Izyum in Kharkiv region. On his way back from a combat mission, he hit a mine.
Denys is survived by his 12-year-old son Rodion. After the death of her husband, the soldier's wife began to seek solace in alcohol, and later left the family and lost contact with her son. Exactly six months after Denys's death, Marharyta received another tragic piece of news: her daughter-in-law passed away.
To help her cope with these losses, Marharyta and her grandson were invited to join the Unbreakable Mom programme. When the local community called, the woman initially refused - she didn't want to leave the care of a large household to her husband. But he assured her that he could handle everything and insisted that the family go to Morshyn.
- We liked it very much. We couldn't stop admiring the nature of the Carpathians. Rodion even said that when he grew up, he would buy a house here, - Marharyta recalls. — We had extraordinary people helping us. Rodion fell in love with the psychologists who worked with him. The specialists taught us how to cope with stress, how to be strong. I even took notes and now sometimes look at the notes.
My grandson felt so good that he wanted to stay in Morshyn longer.
I remember art therapy the most. We distracted ourselves from disturbing thoughts by making various crafts: napkin holders, hot coasters. We painted stones and head scarves.
After the programme, it became easier, we went there heartbroken - both Rodion and I. After returning from Morshyn, our family suffered another disaster - my husband's heart stopped, as he had previously suffered two strokes.
I remember how psychologists said: don't give up. No matter what, no matter how hard it is, life must go on.
I believe that this programme is necessary for families like ours. Those who have lost their loved ones. It really helped us.