Stories of Change

Top: children playing at Anastasis, Middle: Michail and his sister, Bottom: Liliana Lungu who runs Anastasis educational center. (Top and Bottom photo courtesy of ACT Alliance).

Michail Creates his Own Path

Like many Ukrainian children, 16-year-old Michail was forced to grow up too soon when Russia invaded his home in Kherson, Ukraine. Michail, his younger sister and his mom fled to the neighboring country of Moldova, but Michail’s father was forced to remain in Russian-occupied Kherson.

In his new home, Michail stepped up and took the role of his mother’s “right hand man.” He helps with shopping, paying bills and taking care of his younger sister. Although Michail has the maturity and responsibilities of many adults, he is still just a teenager. He likes to draw, play sports, dance, listen to music and hangout with friends. All these activities, however, are near impossible to do in the 60-square-foot room of the Balti Weather Station that Michail and his family currently live in.

Due to these living conditions and Michail’s need for a better space, the *Anastasis Educational Center in Balti has become a second home for Michail. Here, he can engage in all the activities that he loves and continue his online schooling. The staff at the Center shared that Michail is often the first person to arrive and last to leave the center every day.

Michail’s mother has also received fundamental support through the Center. The Center’s psychologists have helped her overcome her depression, and she has successfully completed two professional courses. She now works as a masseuse and cosmetologist in Balti. Michail has also grown through the support of the Center and recently completed his final year of high school. He is now focused on continuing his education in Moldova, and his goal is to study psychology at a local University in Balti.

Through the Anastasis Educational Center, Michail and his family are receiving the support they need to rebuild their lives in Moldova. Along with the staff at the center, CWS is committed to ensuring that families like Michail’s know they are not alone and feel safe and hopeful in their new community.

*The Anastasis Educational Center is run by our local partner, Diaconia, and aims to help Ukrainian refugees heal and rebuild their lives. At the center, program participants can receive psychological support, attend vocational classes, partake in fun activities and access computers to attend online school.

You can continue to support families like Michail’s by donating here.