“She was unwilling to try to make her own life better – she had given up”
Conflict can take more than just physical safety
Anna* was once described as a socially active and happy person with a passion for life – but living in a dormitory for people forced to flee their homes has stolen that from her - leaving her a shadow of her former self.
The single mother left the city of Horlivka for Bakhmut in the non-Government controlled Donetsk region a year ago when the ongoing conflict made it unsafe to remain behind.
There she stayed at a boarding house with others who had lost their homes to the war, and was struggling to afford even the most basic of provisions.
But the conflict took much more from her than just her physical safety – losing her prospects for the future left her angry and dispirited and she became reluctant to seek help to improve the situation she had been forced into.
“She was unwilling to try to make her own life better,” said Valentyna Bukovskaya, who works with International Medical Corps in the centres. “She had simply given up.”
The situation in Donetsk region is still unstable and tension remains in most cities. International Medical Corps supports national NGO partners’ ability to run psychosocial support services in the region to help those dealing with the harmful effects of conflict and forced displacement.
A friend who had benefited from these services eventually convinced Anna to come to one of the centres. At first she didn’t talk very much, but eventually she admitted that she missed the happy person she had once been and decided that she needed to make an effort for her daughter. It didn’t take long before her friends were able to see the change in her - she started once again to make new contacts and to plan for the future.
With her new outlook on life, Anna was able to receive financial support and start her own business; with her degree in tailoring she started making dresses. Today she is expanding and already looking for an assistant, and she can once again dream of a brighter future for herself and her daughter.
*Names have been changed on the request of those featured in this case study.
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