Alexandria, a Ukrainian refugee who met Action Against Hunger's teams in Poland.

"The fear is so great": Ukrainian refugees share their stories

Since the conflict in Ukraine started, over 3 million people have fled into neighbouring Moldova, Poland and Romania. Hear from Ukrainian refugees who met our teams in Poland.

Olena from Kharkiv

“After four days in our basement, we understood the attacks wouldn’t stop. There were schools blown up nearby. The children were crying and we were afraid the cellars could collapse.

“We decided to flee. Totally frightened, we barely managed to take the train to western Ukraine – there were a lot of people in the station trying to push their way through.

“When we arrived in Lviv, we looked for a car to the Polish border. Here in Poland it’s quiet and calm – the children slept through the night.

“But the situation there is terrible. Tears, pain and sadness. Such a beautiful city is just destroyed. It hurts so much.

“Now I’m afraid of loud noises. I think it takes a long time to process that.”


“Just be human.”

Alexandria is a teacher who has fled her home in Ukraine.

She comes from a city close to Odesa and caught a 24 hour train ride to reach Poland. Her husband and father stayed behind. She cries everyday, but not in front of her daughter as she’s scared about worrying them.

Irina, Natalia and Olha

Irina, Natalia and Olha are three teachers from Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine.

“The fear is so great it’s impossible to describe. As teachers, we told the children of genocides, wars and hunger in class. But what do you say now when you see it? We couldn’t find the words.”

“The situation there is terrible. I can’t believe until now that something like this can happen in reality. That tanks drive through the streets in the 21st century and shoot.”

“One morning it was relatively quiet and there was a moment when you could get out of the shelter. I thought that I could not only get food, but that the children could also take a shower. And then at that moment an attack started. I had to throw my daughters into the basement. After that, we didn’t let the children out of the shelter again.”

“My basement was not suitable. It was not a normal room where you store something – just a pit the ground nailed shut with boards. My husband ripped out the boards during the attack on the city and had to practically throw my younger daughter in there and cover her up with the boards. My husband and I were on the floor.”

How Action Against Hunger is responding

Over the coming weeks our teams will support families crossing the borders to Poland, Moldova and Romania from Ukraine.

With your help, we’re able to:

  • Provide hot meals to families crossing the border
  • Distribute food parcels and hygiene kits
  • Run emergency health centres, including trauma counselling
  • Ensure families have access to safe drinking water
  • Setup child-friendly spaces so families have somewhere to rest and recuperate
Support people fleeing conflictA family fleeing conflict in Ukraine.

Support people fleeing conflict

For many of us, fleeing our home because of war is unimaginable – but it’s the reality for thousands of families around the world today. Your monthly gift could help provide access to food, clean water, and money to buy much-needed items, from hygiene kits to cooking equipment.

Donate now