“Nobody – really nobody – thought that 2022 would bring so much change, suffering, pain and hopelessness. What we have been through the past couple of ten months can hardly be put into words,” according to Nikol Burisuk. She and her husband Vyacheslav Borisuk have been running Living Hope NGO in Ukraine since 1999, providing a daycare centre for children and families.

“I remember it well, it was the night of the 24th of February when the bombs hit our city. It is a moment one can’t imagine. At the moment, decisions have to be taken fast,” according to Nikol. She fled with the women and children to Germany, to arrange the reception of new refugees from Ukraine. Her husband Vyacheslav remained in Ukraine to care for the people left behind. They have not seen each other since.

“This year, we were able to help over 100 refugees to find their way around in the new environment. Many families now have a fixed daily routine. All children are in schools, the trainees have good employers, and most women study German diligently”. However, with all these positive moments, there is an underlying deep sadness. Nikol states that the longing for life before the war and for the loved ones they left behind is always there.

Despite the war, Nikol expresses that she sees hope in being able to support families, children and young people. “We see the main task as making the ‘waiting time’ bearable for the Ukrainians. We want to make it easier who those who fled and those who stayed,” according to Nikol.

What will the future bring?

Nikole gets asked this question almost daily, but she has no answer. “If one thing has taught me the past year, it’s that our plans from one day to the next can be cancelled and that there’s just a lot that you can’t control”. Without the strength and confidence of her faith, she would have no resilience for the future. “Because good powers care for us, we’re safely awaiting what’s ahead”.

Read more about the work of Living Hope NGO here.