Support to the families of the injured
Since the beginning of March, the Open Dialog Foundation has been running a project providing support to the families of the injured who fought on Maidan and are now receiving treatment in Polish hospitals.
As part of the project, we help the relatives obtain a Schengen visa, cover the costs of flight tickets, as well as organise accommodation and provide them with volunteer help here in Ukraine.
Yesterday, we transported the twentieth person to Poland. She is a mother of a seventeen-year-old who is in a critical condition and currently receiving treatment in hospital in Katowice. For the 50-year-old Tetiana, who had never previously been abroad, the very journey from Kiev alone, was truly stressful. We met her at a small bus station somewhere in a distant suburb of the city in the evening. We had a lot of time to kill before her departure, so we sat down in an empty waiting area. She spoke and I listened. She recounted that her son had been serving in a self-defense unit for many months. She told me how she would worry about his safety and whether he had enough to eat or somewhere to shelter from the cold. She recounted how anxious she had been every time she dialed his phone number and how she would feel when he picked up. How she called him on 18 February, the night of the assault on Maidan, and he spoke to her whilst standing under a burning barricade and finally, how two days later, it had been a paramedic from a field hospital who had answered the phone instead of her son.
She also expressed her gratitude towards the people who have helped and are still helping her. I say a huge “thank you” to all: volunteers, people from the foundation, hosts ready to share their apartments with those in need, employees of embassies and consulates, doctors and all those who have donated money. I thank all of them too!