Tatiana Sobchuk from Kryvyi Rih is a widow of a Mariupol defender and mother of their two children. Participation in the Unbreakable Mom project by the Masha Foundation and Metinvest's Saving Lives humanitarian initiative helped her to hold on to life and become stronger in spirit.
When Tetiana got a call from the call-centre of the military unit, where her husband served, and was offered to take part in a psychological rehabilitation project, she immediately agreed. She, like other wives, mothers or sisters of killed or captured soldiers, is now waiting for similar calls for help, rehabilitation or support. She spotted an opportunity to switch from sad thoughts and take her children away from danger to a resort area of Ukraine. There were 24 families from Kryvyi Rih and Zaporizhzhia in the group that the Sobchuks joined.
- We arrived at the Morshyn sanatorium where our rehabilitation took place. There we were immediately divided into groups by age and category of psychological trauma. I think this was done to relieve everyone as much as possible and to pay attention to the internal state. My four-year-old Irina went to a kindergarten, Andrii went to a teenage group, and I talked to women who had also lost their dearest ones in the war," says Tatiana Sobchuk.
Thanks to Metinvest's support, the project participants lived in comfort, had delicious food, were involved in activities as much as possible, had meaningful leisure time and regular consultations with qualified psychologists. For ordinary Ukrainian families, whose lives have been devastated by the war, three weeks of complete change of scenery became a period of revival to continue living.
- There I was able to relax a little bit. Even though the first week was difficult because Iryna had a cold. Stress, moving and acclimatisation, and she got sick. But the Carpathian air and a sense of calm levelled everything out. The kids played and swung in the hammocks so much during the day, that in the evening they just instantly fell asleep and in peace until the morning. And my eldest son and I had art therapy classes, mastering breathing practices, learning to hear our body and its needs," says Tetiana Sobchuk. - I noticed that later, when I was worried, I would automatically start to switch on my diet and control my state.
During the third week, when she was going to the pump room to get mineral water, Tetiana suddenly saw and realised how beautiful it was to spend time with her children. She says she hadn't even noticed it before. She shared it with psychologists and they were really happy for her. After all, this is exactly what they tried to achieve. To make the participants of the programme understand that life goes on, grows and flourishes, because our heroes fought and are fighting for it.
Nowadays, the unbreakable mom lives and works in Kryvyi Rih. Working at a bank and taking care of her family fills her life and prevents her from getting depressed. She keeps in touch with the wives and mothers of the soldiers, who died for Ukraine. She has become a support to many of them, telling them how she overcomes pain and sharing the practices she learnt from the project. She believes that the heroic sacrifice of the defenders was not in vain. She brings up her children with dignity and love for the country, respect for its traditions and language, and respect for its defenders.