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How to Help Ukrainian Refugees in the USA

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Nova Ukraine Emergency Housing

Our emergency housing hotline deals with the most desperate cases. Sign up below to host an individual or a family for a few days or a few months.

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Donate Your Old Electronics

Help Ukrainian Families Stay Connected! Computers 2 Kids (C2K) and Nova Ukraine have partnered to provide Ukrainian refugees in the US with refurbished and deeply discounted laptops/desktops. Your donated electronics will receive a second chance to help a Ukrainian family stay connected during their transition to the United States. 

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Please include the Technology Donation Form when mailing your donation.

Donate Your Car

Help a refugee family start their new life in the USA by donating your used car. All donations are tax-deductible. Cars must be in running and safe condition. Contact [email protected] for more information.

Donate Funds

Monetary funds remain the most impactful contribution individuals can make towards helping refugees – both in the United States and abroad. These funds are used for evacuations, shelters, food and water, and critical legal and medical support to help refugees find their way.

Please select “refugee support and resettlement” to allocate these funds to our refugee efforts.

Delivering Medications by Supporting Local Ukrainian Pharma Darnitsa

At the beginning of the war, people bought medications in bulk, standing in lines for several hours as they feared being left without vital medications. In the fifth month of the war, the tension subsided, and, despite the instability of demand, lost infrastructure, interruptions in the supply of raw materials, and pharmacies destroyed as a result of shelling, domestic pharmaceutical companies still continue their work.

Not every resident of Ukraine can obtain appropriate medications. Some cannot afford it; others no longer have working pharmacies nearby after the Russian attacks. Vulnerable populations such as the elderly, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and single mothers are the most affected by their cost and deficit. That is why Nova Ukraine, together with the Kharkiv-based medical coordinator Rodion Bronnikov, started cooperation with the leading Ukrainian pharmaceutical company Darnitsa.

The company, which has been operating since 1930, has survived many major historical events, including the current war with Russia. Production hasn’t stopped for a single day. Moreover, Darnitsa added another product line for ampule medications. During the last five months, Darnitsa has released 11 new products on the Ukrainian pharmaceutical market — for blood pressure stabilization, the painkillers, an anti-radiation drug, and others — in addition to its main product lines, which are medications for heart conditions, neuralgia, and pain relief. In addition, the company was the first and the only one in Ukraine to obtain a license from Pfizer to produce antiviral drugs, and it also began the process of obtaining the technology for the production of mRNA based vaccines from the World Health Organization.

Since June 2022, Nova Ukraine has purchased more than 2,000 kilograms of medications for the Kharkiv region. Our supply chain management begins with the Nova Ukraine MedHub, a regional coordinating center where all requests from Kharkiv are directed. Requests are verified by our American medical team before getting fulfilled. It takes record time for the Darnitsa team to fulfill verified orders. On average, orders are shipped by the carrier within two working days.  Next, at the Kharkiv warehouse, the orders are distributed between our trusted partner volunteer organizations that collected original requests from the public. More than 18,000 medication packs have been delivered, to help stabilize blood pressure, relieve pain, and save lives. In less than two months of this collaboration, about 4,500 people have received our help. 

We are very excited about this productive partnership for several reasons: First, this is collaboration provides direct assistance to the vulnerable populations whose life and health depend on having personal access to these medications.

Second, this is an opportunity to support the Ukrainian economy and to enable the industry to grow in difficult conditions. It is important that the company can pay its employees fair wages and retain the best personnel where they are most needed.

Third, this is an investment in development of the local pharmaceutical industry when it is needed the most.  We are incredibly impressed that Darnitsa, a Ukrainian pharmaceutical company, is able to maintain high quality standards, even in war conditions. It continues production, helping the Armed Forces, volunteers and charitable foundations. Due to the war, the commercial flow of foreign pharmaceuticals decreased, but consumers do not feel a significant shortage of medications, primarily due to the robust production in Ukraine. In the future, Ukraine could become an international hub for the supply of pharmaceutical products to the countries of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. All of these fit Nova Ukraine’s mission of not only providing humanitarian aid but helping to build a thriving society in Ukraine.

Donate to our medical efforts to help us continue to purchase medication from local producers in Ukraine:

Helping Disabled Ukrainians with NGO “I Know You Can”

Since the start of the war in Ukraine vulnerable demographics within the country have been disproportionately impacted often due to their limited mobility. Elderly people, the sick, and families with small children have been especially hard hit. But there is one group who have been impacted more than others and received little attention or assistance: people with disabilities. One woman, Olena Osadcha, is working to make sure disabled Ukrainians are not forgotten.

Olena Osadcha, founder of I Know You Can, with another volunteer on a shopping trip for humanitarian supplies

Founder of the NGO “I Know You Can” in Dnipro (central Ukraine), Olena Osadcha herself has been wheelchair bound since childhood due to the rare birth defect Osteogenesis imperfecta – brittle bone disease. Her experiences, and the constant support of those around her who always said, “I know you can do it”, inspired Olena to start an organization dedicated to advocating for those with disabilities.

Due to the fear of imminent attack and their inability to flee danger quickly, the members of I Know You Can can no longer meet in public places. All of the organization’s educational programs have been cancelled, and many of their in-person services have ended due to the ever-increasing impact of the war. Despite these challenges, I Know You Can continues to provide support for disabled Ukrainians.

Together, Nova Ukraine and I Know You Can are working to ensure that people with disabilities are able to receive the funding, services, medication, food, and support they need. Thanks to this partnership, disabled Ukrainians serviced by I Know You Can are receiving regular food deliveries, life sustaining medication, and the support they need to stay safe during a war the has no clear end.

But the work of supporting and advocating for disabled Ukrainians is far from done and increases in demand every day. Your help to continue this work is greatly needed. Your donation today will help Olena, her organization I Know You Can, and other local Ukrainian NGOs continue their brave and needed work in Ukraine.

Animal Welfare Spending Report

Thanks to our donors, between March 16 and July 20 we have spent $262,520, and helped over 21,000 animals in Ukraine. We are grateful to every supporter that has contributed, and we couldn’t be more proud of the results. Please follow along with first-hand reports from the recipients of our aid in the newly established Nova Ukraine Animal Welfare Reports Facebook group.


Here is a quick breakdown of what each category entails:

  • Food:
    • Buying bulk discounted food from Ukrainian manufacturers or distributors
    • Delivering or mailing the food all over Ukraine
    • Sending small grants to areas where delivery is not possible
  • Routine Medical Care:
    • Spay / Neuter procedures to curb the homeless population
    • Vaccinations (Rabies, DHLPP, FVRCP) to prevent the spread of deadly diseases
    • Antiparasitic medications prevent outbreaks of parasites (fleas, intestinal parasites, ticks, mites, etc.), deadly tick-borne diseases, deadly heartworm disease, and more
  • Emergency Medical Procedures:
    • Primarily animals injured as a result of active warfare
  • Evacuations:
    • Over 2,700 animals have been evacuated. While 2000 animals were evacuated to Europe, a majority of animals are being relocated within Ukraine to safer areas.
  • Construction:
    • We fund reconstruction and expansion projects for shelters that are continuously taking in more animals
  • Horses:
    • In a very limited capacity, we help small stables with feed, medical expenses, and evacuations.
  • Zoos:
    • Three separate humane, small-scale zoos and a wildlife rehabilitation center have received funding for evacuations, food, and utilities.

So many lives are hidden behind these numbers and percentages. Incredible stories of survival, love, and perseverance. Meet a few of our lucky four-legged friends:

JACK

Mykolaiv has seen non-stop shelling since March. Like so many other pets, Jack was left behind after his humans fled following a particularly damaging attack. The 4-month-old puppy was left to his own devices. Our wonderful, fearless volunteer Olga found Jack a new home, and thought that was the end of this pup’s horror story. Sadly, a few days later he was diagnosed with enteritis – a potentially deadly disease when left untreated.

With a grant from Nova Ukraine that Olga received for her 23 animals, she was able to fund Jack’s medical treatment. Although we didn’t see much improvements following his initial procedures, we didn’t give up. He received the medical care and love he needed, and finally made a full recovery. He has received his vaccinations and is now living a happy puppy life.

HARNUNIA

Harnunia is a Bucha survivor. Not many can make this claim after the horrendous consequences of the region’s occupation. After volunteers were allowed to reenter the liberated region, Hernunia was heard meowing in a locked bathroom of an abandoned private home. When volunteers retrieved her, they noticed large ulcers on her paws and tail, resulting from being soaked in urine that covered the floor of the tiny room. She was taken to a shelter we support in Kyiv, Homes for Strays, and received immediate veterinary care.

The steller owner of the shelter, Valeria, never turns her back on struggling animals, and is always ready for a challenge. She welcomed Hernunia with open arms, and with a grant from Nova Ukraine she was able to provide the necessary medical care for this wonderful cat, that purred throughout the entire veterinary visit despite being probed, poked, and palpated.

She is fully recovered and is looking for her forever home. Her trust in people has not waivered, and she is ready to share the rest of her life with a family that will give her the love and support she deserves.

POWDER

Powder was injured during active shooting in Slatino, a village in the Kharkiv region. He sustained an injury to the chest from propelled shrapnel, and was uncontrollably bleeding. Courageous volunteers from Animal Rescue Kharkiv, whom Nova Ukraine has been supporting since March, left immediately to pick him up.

Powder was in critical condition, but the incredible veterinarians in Kharkiv refused to give up. Although a bit touch-and-go at first, two weeks of IV drips, surgeries, and post-op care pulled Powder through. He is fully recovered and is looking for his new home. He is an incredibly affectionate, social, and active ball of love and affection, ready to live out his days playing ball and getting belly rubs.


Without the help of our kind donors, none of this would be possible. We are grateful for every dollar we have received. As the war continues, and there is no end in sight, we urge you to continue your support so we can scale and continue to grow, covering more and more ground, and bringing more and more animals to safety.

Please indicate “Animal Rescue” in your donation to direct funds towards our animal rescue efforts.

Living a Day At a Time in Mykolaiv

Mykolaiv reached a distressing achievement this week – it has become the third hardest hit city in Ukraine by Russian shelling, following Izyum and Mariupol. According to local officials, nearly 8,000 regional buildings have been damaged by artillery and missile strikes since February, and over half the city’s 500,000 residents have fled. Due to the strikes, the city has been without running water since April. But as many as 250,000 residents still remain in Mykolaiv, and the city has seen an influx of people fleeing from Kherson as Ukraine battles to regain control of the occupied city and the fighting in the region intensified. Nova Ukraine continues to support Mykolaiv – by providing drinking water, equipping hospitals, supplying bomb shelters, and continuing to evacuate residents.

Your donations help the residents of Mykolaiv survive the assault »


A Day in the life of a Mykolaiv Resident

Hanna Chmelyova is a resident of Mykolaiv who decided to remain in her city in spite of the daily shelling and air raid sirens that have been terrorizing inhabitants since the onset of the Russian invasion. Her words offer us a glimpse into daily life in a city under Russian occupation.

Hanna works as a children’s librarian and a hospital clown and takes great pride in her role as plastun-senior of the Mykolaiv branch “Plast” (the Ukrainian Scouting Organization). Hanna’s husband distributes humanitarian aid with the Ukrainian military elsewhere in the city. They have two sons. 

“Each Mykolaiv resident now has a very special ‘alarm clock,’” Hanna explains. “It goes off not at the time you set it to wake you up, but at the time when the Russians launch a missile.”

Continue reading »


Nova Ukraine Supported Hospital Hit by Shelling in Mykolaiv

The emergency hospital in Mykolaiv, BSMP, has been rendered nonoperational due to Russian shelling. Your donations have previously equipped this hospital, which was built in 2019 and was one of the most modern hospitals in Ukraine. The grant paid for medication, surgical supplies, and coagulation machines – it is yet to be determined how much of the hospital equipment survived. Now, due to damage, the entire hospital must be evacuated – patients and doctors are being reassigned and relocated to other hospitals in the area. Nova Ukraine continues supplying area hospitals in hard-hit Mykolaiv as long as they remain operational.

Support our medical deliveries in Mykolaiv »


Lives and Homes Destroyed in Bucha

Iryna Havryliuk lost everything in the war – what was previously a peaceful life in Bucha has been shattered by the Russian invasion. Her husband and brother were killed in her own yard. Even the dog was shot dead. Now her home is in ruins. Listen to Iryna’s story of surviving the war. While her loss is irreparable, our volunteers can and will restore her home to a habitable state.

Donate to our reconstruction efforts »


The Impact of Your Donations


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Staying Put in Mykolaiv: Life Under the “Russian Alarm Clock”

Hanna Chmelyova is a resident of Mykolaiv who decided to remain in her city in spite of the daily shelling and air raid sirens that have been terrorizing inhabitants since the onset of the Russian invasion. She gave us an interview to offer our readers a glimpse into daily life in a city under Russian occupation. 

Hanna works as a children’s librarian and a hospital clown and takes great pride in her role as plastun-senior of the Mykolaiv branch “Plast” (the Ukrainian Scouting Organization). Hanna’s husband distributes humanitarian aid with the Ukrainian military elsewhere in the city. They have two sons. 

“Each Mykolaiv resident now has a very special ‘alarm clock,’” Chmelyova explains. “It goes off not at the time you set it to wake you up, but at the time when the Russians launch a missile.”

This is the kind of humor that helps people in Ukraine survive during trying times. “These alarm clocks scared us a lot, especially in the beginning,” she says. “We don’t have a basement, but there is a rule of two walls: you must place two walls between yourself and the outside. For us, that means a closet. When we hear explosions, my youngest son and I run to the closet. This is our shelter, even though we don’t fit in together.”

During the first two months of the year, before the invasion started, the Plast members, or plastuns, underwent training for what to do In the event of a war. In mid-February Chmelyova attended a training course in Bucha, where she learned how to evacuate properly and how to provide pre-medical assistance. Even then, she says, she did not believe a full-scale invasion was imminent. “On February 24, I remember telling my husband, ‘Can you hear a plane? It’s so close,’” she remembers. “It’s only now that I realize: that was a Russian missile.” 

Chmelyova knows the war has in fact been going on for eight years, since Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. But many fellow Ukrainians did not perceive the full threat until that fateful day in February.

“Until February 24 we lived peacefully in Mykolaiv,” she says. “After that horrible day, we all saw the enemy’s face — the true face of Russia. Back in 2014, most people didn’t believe me, even when I said that it was Russia that occupied Crimea. Maybe they didn’t want to understand.”

Back in March Chmelyova’s brother took his family out of Matviivka, their home village in the Mykolaiv region. He kept asking her when she would do likewise. She considered it, she says, but in the end felt her place was in Mykolaiv. 

Waking Up to Russian Missiles

The start of a typical day in Hanna’s life under constant shelling

5:30 a.m. Explosions. Shelling. Windows rattle. I should go to the shelter, but I’m so tired. My eyes are so heavy… 

Air raid sirens go off: “Attention! Please proceed to the shelters!”  The siren is so loud. There’s no way I can sleep now. I’m getting up from my bed and I walk to the shelter.

6:15 a.m. I’m in the shelter. I’m hoping I can sleep a little before going to work. I’m falling asleep…

6.25 a.m. “Attention! Air sirens clear! You can leave the shelter!” Oh no, I had just started to fall asleep … 

6.30 a.m. I’m going back to my bed again. It feels nice, I can sleep for a bit now …  

7 a.m. Alarm clock goes off. I  overslept. I need to get up and go to work.

“Each person behaves within the limits of their inner data: their temperament and level of critical thinking,” Chmelyova explains. “Plastuns have rules, too, and one of them is a rule of good fortune. I often tell myself that I haven’t accomplished everything I wanted to do yet. I have not developed a Plast movement in Mykolaiv, for instance, so I have to stay alive and keep going.”

So Chmelyova and her family stayed, woken up each morning like clockwork by sirens and shelling. She and her family get by without running water, which has been cut off in Mykolaiv since April when a Russian missile damaged the city’s water system. And after each sleepless night she goes to her work — at the hospital, at Plast, and at the library. “I am glad to see other people who choose to stay in Mykolaiv.” she says. “I’m happy to provide them with books now, more than ever before.”

She takes rare breaks from the war, too. Around Easter she spent a few days in her home village of Matviivka where the “Russian alarm” doesn’t shock her out of sleep each morning. 

“For the first time since the beginning of the war, I slept through the whole night,” she said. “All these nights before … I can’t even remember if I slept at all, to be honest.”

And yet Chmelyova, like many Ukrainians, chooses to stay. While the men defend the country on the frontlines, she does her part at home and at work. She even finds time to weave camouflage nets for Ukrainian servicemen in between her various work schedules. 

“There is fear in me, but not panic,” Chmelyova says. “We, Mykolaiv residents, are tired of being afraid.”

You can help Hanna and other residents of Mykolaiv. Your donations help supply water, equip bomb shelters, and provide basic necessities Mykolaiv residents need to survive.

Rebuilding Kindergartens in Kharkiv

On February 24, 2022, Kharkiv, Ukraine was the first city to suffer missile attacks from Russia. The once peaceful and beautiful city now looks like a post-apocalyptic scene worthy of the movies. Many houses have no windows, their insides have been destroyed, everything is covered by soot and rubble. Stoically, the city and her people have held on under these conditions. Now the people of Kharkiv are beginning to rebuild.

Destruction of a school in Kharkiv hit by shelling

“We cooperate with three NGOs,” explains Yaroslava Fomina – a Nova Ukraine Project Manager. “Yedine Dzerelo, Mari, and I Am Saved. They provide assistance to communities around Kharkiv region.” Thanks to these partners and donors from around the world, Nova Ukraine has delivered 17 pallets (over 1200 sheets) of plywood to Kharkiv to be used as temporary patching to cover blown out windows and holes from missiles in the walls.

“In our city, enemies are massively bombing educational institutions,” says Dmytro Lozhenko, head of the organization I Am Saved. “We were able to protect and restore to working operation the nursery school and 4 more buildings that were hit by an enemy missile. We did a lot of work on clearing debris and shielding the windows.”

But the work is not done. “We plan to preserve at least 50 schools and kindergartens. At this stage, we need an additional 2,000 sheets of plywood to carry out work in at least 6 institutions. We will be powerless in this great cause without your participation.”

Another Nova Ukraine partner said, “We really hope … children’s laughter will resound in the kindergarten again. These rebuilding efforts are just the first step toward the physical restoration of Ukraine.”

Nova Ukraine and Partners Donate Ambulances to Khmelnytskyi

Since the beginning of the war in late February, medical services across Ukraine have been disrupted. This is especially true in areas that have taken heavy shelling and bombing or cities currently under Russian occupation. To help get medical services into these hard-hit areas, a number of emergency assistance hubs have been launched, including one at Khmelnytskyi Regional Clinical Hospital.

These medical hubs provide triage services outside their facilities by sending ambulances equipped with medical supplies and personnel into nearby regions lacking proper facilities. But the assistance they’re able to provide is greatly dependent on the availability of medical supplies, staff, and vehicles—something which is increasingly challenged by war-induced migration, transportation difficulties, and regular supply shortages. For this reason, emergency services and medical hubs like the one in Khmelnytskyi must rely to a greater extent on donations from outside organizations.


To help address the growing needs of Khmelnytskyi Regional Clinical Hospital, Nova Ukraine and the Union of TV and Film Industry Entrepreneurs, both nongovernmental organizations, have partnered to donate new, fully modern ambulances equipped with the medical supplies needed for rapid resuscitation, emergency trauma care, and basic medical treatment.


But this partnership isn’t limited to emergency vehicles. In addition to the 3 ambulances donated since the start of the war, Nova Ukraine and the Union of TV and Film Industry Entrepreneurs have also donated medical equipment, much-needed medications, and clothing for medical personnel. These supplies were all transferred to the regional hospital for use in Khmelnytskyi and the surrounding communities they serve.


With no end in sight for Russia’s war, Ukrainian emergency medical services are going to be busier than ever. You can help support these brave Ukrainian doctors, nurses, and EMTs by donating to Nova Ukraine. Donating, raising awareness, and sharing on social media all help ensure that Ukrainians have the chance to rebuild the health of their people as well as the health of their nation. 

Breathing New Life into Maternity Care in Pavlohrad

A new generation of Ukrainians is being born in bomb shelters. Their first breaths are taken under shelling and constant danger. But even Russia’s senseless war cannot stop new, loved, celebrated little lives entering this world — Ukrainian women continue to give birth, despite the cramped and inhumane conditions.

The war has crippled health care in Ukraine.

Due to the influx of internally displaced refugees fleeing cities on the front lines, medical facilities even in more peaceful parts of the country are woefully undersupplied. There are widespread shortages of pretty much everything: equipment, consumables and facility necessities alike. Some maternity shelters and hospitals have been completely destroyed by shelling and are no longer operations. Other facilities, like the Pavlohrad maternity hospital, have not been updated in decades and are in desperate need of repair. Pregnant women and their newly born children are subjected to outdated equipment and accommodation—gynecological chairs from 1962; children’s beds from 1985.

Modern gynecological exam chair donated by Nova Ukraine

At Nova Ukraine, we’re working to improve these conditions. Recently, donors from abroad (like you) raised the funds needed for us to purchase and provide 30 cots, 1 gynecological chair, 3 new skin temperature sensors, and an additional 500 gynecological examination kits to the hospital in Povlohrad.

All of this will help speed up and simplify the work of Ukrainian doctors, who can now spend their time and attention on patients very much in need of assistance. These donations ensure that Ukrainian women and children are treated with the care they deserve, and not with equipment that is older than they are.

Neonatal cots delivered to Pavlohrad

Donate to help Ukrainian mothers and their babies to be healthy despite the war.

Serhii’s Story: Escaping Mariupol through Russia and a New Start in Iceland

On March 30 I evacuated from Mariupol to Russia.

I was born back in the Soviet Union in the city of Zhdanov, which was later renamed Mariupol. In 1986, my parents got an apartment – now it’s just a burnt concrete box. And I lived there my whole life. Everything around me was familiar, of course. Now, when I see photos or videos of today’s Mariupol, or remember how it was in March – it feels very eerie and strange, not like the place I know.

The first explosions in our courtyard occurred on March 3; by March 7, everyone had already moved to the basements. After living in the basement, you grasp every opportunity to get out. And it doesn’t matter where. The feeling of desperation can’t be described in words – only someone who has experienced the same thing can understand it.

When there is constant shelling in the city, you develop a great indifference to death. You see the corpses lying everywhere, and you’re not as horrified as you were in the early days. People’s corpses are perceived as a detail of the landscape – that’s all. You no longer notice all the graves dug near the houses, either.

When Russian troops passed by my house in the direction of Azovstal plant, we suddenly found ourselves behind all the fighting. At that time, it was finally possible to leave the building, and one of our neighbors had a car. It was, of course, full of bullet holes, and the windows were blown out. But it was possible to leave the city, and as soon as the military allowed us to move, we left.

We drove into Russia. I was allowed to stay with distant relatives, whom I had not seen for a long time. We did not agree on politics with them: they absolutely did not believe me when I told them that Russian troops shot at our house. I wasn’t very welcome there. In the process of looking for a place to live, I came across mentions of Rubikus in the refugee chat groups and learned that they could help me leave for Europe.

Now I can’t exactly remember all the volunteers who helped me. Before crossing the border between Russia and Estonia in Narva, I deleted all my correspondence just in case, so as not to set anyone up: all Ukrainian refugees had their phones checked at the border, both at the entrance and at the exit. One volunteer I do remember is Rubikus volunteer Lilya – she was with me the whole time, virtually guiding my way at every point in the journey.

What remains of the apartment building where Sergei lived

I traveled first to St. Petersburg, where I stayed with a kind couple for a couple of days. They even gave me a tour of the sights of St. Petersburg. It was my first time there. I could tell they did everything out of charity and good will, and they showed me a lot of kindness. I’m very grateful to them for that. From St. Petersburg we went to Narva. The city of Narva is divided into two parts: the Russian part is called Ivangorod, and the Estonian part – Narva. And between them there is a pedestrian and automobile border and a customs office.

At the Estonian border, with the help of customs officials, we managed to arrange a bus to Tallinn. Lilya directed me to Hotel Zink, a hostel for refugees, which is right in the center of the Old Town. I stayed in Tallinn for two days while Lilya and the team at Rubikus made further travel arrangements for me. From Tallinn, I took a bus to Warsaw and spent the night in the Norwegian refugee center, and the next day I went to the airport, got on a plane and flew to Reykjavik. It was my first time flying. The volunteers explained everything to me about the airport, luggage, and everything else. Their help was always with me. I understood that I wasn’t abandoned; it was very nice to have people taking care of me.

“Why Iceland?” People often ask me that. The unemployment rate is the lowest here, and I realized that at least I would find some work. And it’s insanely beautiful here, the nature is so beautiful that fantasy movies can be filmed directly on location without computer graphics. Somewhere around here, as I was told by the locals, there are places where they filmed “Game of Thrones.”

The site Varenik (created by Rubikus) helped me in my choice. This site compares, in a fairly simple way, the EU countries that host Ukrainian refugees according to a number of criteria and helps you decide where to go.

The website Varenik – named after Ukrainian dumplings – helps refugees decide which countries in Europe to settle in.

In Reykjavik, the support for refugees here is very well organized. You go up to any policeman at the airport, show your Ukrainian passport, say you’re a refugee. If you arrive in the evening, they immediately arrange a bed for you, and the next day you get a transfer to the migration service, where you get a medical examination and a local tax number. This is quite an important document for Iceland, your registration in the Icelandic government system. Another big plus is that Ukrainian refugees in Iceland receive a work permit right away. I was given housing and meals in a dormitory at a local University. Great place – very beautiful, wonderful people.

Iceland is not a very big country, there is about 360,000 total population, so many jobs are in Reykjavik. I applied directly to an organization similar to the one I worked for in Mariupol. I described my situation and they invited me for an interview. They understood perfectly well that my English was pretty bad. I didn’t plan to leave Ukraine before the war, so I didn’t prepare by studying English. But they hired me anyway, and the locals helped me find an apartment here, and helped me get settled – I’ve been working for a little over a week now.

This story was original shared with Rubikus and is translated and reposted with permission. Serhii’s name has been changed for privacy.

You can help refugees like Serhii find their way. Contribute to our campaign to evacuate Ukrainians from Russia. An estimated 1.6 Million Ukrainians have been forced to evacuate to Russia from occupied territories.

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