A backpack full of video games, toiletries and undergarments was given to Nadiia Kuzniak’s son when the household arrived in Canada after fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Contained in the backpack was a be aware from a 13-year-old Canadian boy.
“Welcome to Canada. I hope this stuff make your keep right here higher. I am sorry about what is going on to your nation. I’m praying for you and I hope you want staying in Canada,” the be aware stated in English and Ukrainian.
The straightforward gesture left a long-lasting impression on Kuzniak and her 12-year-old son Yurii who arrived in Edmonton in early April.
“That letter made (us) really feel like (we’re) not refugees. (We’re) simply one other human being simply in a unique world,” Kuzniak stated in an interview in early Could.
“It was very touching.”
The 2 left their residence in Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine on Feb. 24, the identical day a Russian missile struck town’s airport.
Kuzniak has since returned to her homeland, drawn by a want to assist. It is unclear how lengthy she’ll keep.
The mom and son’s journey to Canada took them throughout many European borders.
“(We) met plenty of very sort individuals throughout and acquired assist throughout however solely in Canada (did we) lastly really feel protected and guarded,” she stated
Kuzniak, who stated she left Ukraine to guard her son, selected Edmonton as a result of her sister, Oleksandra Sribnyak, lives there.
The Canadian Press spoke with Kuzniak and her sister over video chat from Sribnyak’s residence. She acted as a translator for a portion of the dialog.
Sribnyak stated when Russia began attacking Ukraine, her sister and nephew started experiencing “animal ranges” of worry.
“As a mom, she did all the pieces potential to guard her son from the psychological drama. They left the nation early so he didn’t expertise seeing the useless individuals on the road,” stated Sribnyak.
“(With) what’s been occurring in Ukraine as of late, for him coming to Canada, it is nearly like a fairy story”
As of the week of Could 26, about 2,600 individuals had arrived in Alberta from Ukraine, the province says.
The household needed Yurii to keep up a connection to his homeland whereas in Canada.
He’s nonetheless taking courses from his faculty in Ukraine whereas enrolled in a faculty in Edmonton. He’s additionally taking courses at a Ukrainian theatre faculty for youngsters and has joined the Ukrainian scout group known as Plast.
Whereas Kuzniak was working to ascertain herself in Alberta, the pull to return residence was robust.
She had left behind her grownup son and her father, who’re serving to with warfare efforts. Most males ages 18 to 60 have been banned from leaving Ukraine in case they’re wanted to combat.
Kuzniak stated when she first arrived in Edmonton, a sense of security was overshadowed by a sense of guilt.
Her primary aim was to return to her residence nation when the warfare was over and assist rebuild.
“All her ideas are with Ukraine and the victory of Ukraine,” stated Sribnyak.
That return would come earlier than anticipated.
On Could 22, Kuzniak travelled again to Ukraine to supply humanitarian help to the army and to see household.
Sribnyak opposed the journey. She felt it was too harmful. She stated her sister returned to a scenario that’s “getting worse by the day.”
A gasoline scarcity has made shifting across the nation troublesome. And there are psychological results the warfare has had on those that stayed behind. Sribnyak stated she has heard from her sister that individuals are feeling numb to the horrors they’ve witnessed.
“Her feeling of the guilt was stronger than her feeling of the hazard,” she stated.
“I don’t know what her journey again will seem like. She promised she’s going to come.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed June 5, 2022