Rīta Panorāma

Intervija ar komponisti, producenti Lolitu Ritmani

Rīta Panorāma

Laika ziņas

Trīs bērnu ģimene patvērumu rod Latvijā

Ukrainian refugees: We don't want to live on handouts

Take note – story published 1 year ago

"We do not want to live on benefits," says Vadim, a recent arrival in Latvia with his wife Marina and three children as refugees.

The family has just found a permanent residence for themselves, and Vadim will soon start working at a Latvian company.

Marina and Vadim together with their 14-year-old son Danil, eight-year-old Elizabeta and eighteen month old Maria have arrived in Latvia from the Ukrainian city of Podolsk. 

Latvian Television met with the family only two days after a volunteer brought them from Poland to Latvia. Vadim was allowed to leave Ukraine because he had to take care of his three children. Currently, the family has settled in a guesthouse in Rāmava.

"Thank God we've come here. We are a little calmer. We will sleep more peacefully. Thank you, we were very well received by the hostess Ilze. Huge thanks to her. Thanks to the people who are helping us. Thank you very much,” said Marina.

Vadim pointed out that the people of Latvia had restored his faith in humanity: “When we left, we had to trust strangers I had never met before. We arrived, and they were waiting for us. I am very grateful to you. In this situation, the war is simply showing who is who.”

The family lived in war-torn Ukraine for a month and hoped the war would end. They decided to leave the country as the situation became too frightening.

"Air raid sirens have been sounding very often lately. Rockets often fly, as far as I understand, and unmanned aerial vehicles also fly. Sirens are very common. We decided to drive away from our home. Being there is very dangerous and scary. It was not possible to sleep peacefully or eat for two days before we left. The children stopped their studies, together we went to hide in the basement,” said Marina.

Their parents remain in Ukraine. "They wanted to leave, but it was not possible. Grandpa feels very bad after contracting Covid-19. It's hard for him to walk."

Meanwhile, Danil has had to leave some friends behind, while others have also left. One good friend went to Romania.

"She is currently living in Romania with her mother, sister and cousin. They decided in favor of Romania because it is as close as possible to Ukraine. If necessary, you can return quickly,” Danil explained.

Upon arrival in Latvia, children can continue their studies, because in Ukraine, where it is possible, schools have not stopped their work. Teaching can take place remotely.

"The guesthouse has free internet. We were also given SIM cards with unlimited internet. We can connect to distance learning and listen to our teachers,” said Danil.

They chose Latvia as their destination because Vadim has been promised a job here in a company where he has previously worked. The company assured him that if he came, he would be helped.

"We have already agreed that we will register here, send the children to school and work. Ukrainians are a very hardworking nation. I have previously worked for a Latvian company. My wife still has a small child [to take care of], but let's see if, when the child can go to the kindergarten, then my wife will work,” Vadim said.  

The family has already found a home in Bauska. They do not want to live on state benefits, so they hope to be able to earn a living very soon.

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