Krasnohorivka is a small town in eastern Ukraine which is considered by be “isolated” by UNO due to the difficult access to this location.

This town has been affected by war in eastern Ukraine for the last 6 years. Most of the younger people left to peaceful territories looking for a safer life and the ones who are left are those who have nowhere to go and are fighting for survival every single day. How do their survive in the terrible conditions of war where shelling regularly takes place? What helps them stay alive with total lack of money, prolonged lack of electricity, water and gas supply? How do they manage not to slide into the abyss, when the war took everything they had, including the lives of their loved ones?

Apartment building №36 on Tchaikovsky Street is known for being located in the most actively fired area in Krasnohorivka. New destruction, shells, injuries and deaths are the indicators of war, all of them growing in numbers very fast. The number of inhabitants in the house, on the contrary, decreases with every single day. Out of the 60 apartments, only thirteen have people living in them.

Our team delivered vegetable seeds for planting gardens to residents of Krasnohorivka. People living in this apartment building were definitely on the list of our primary beneficiaries because few humanitarian missions bring help to them.

The building is located right in the field which used to be a wasteland not long ago. The hardworking people uprooted all bushes and weed with their own hands and turned a deserted place into a real garden, divided into separate beds.

As we drive closer to the apartment building, we can see the traces of military destruction everywhere. At the same time, there are practically no empty plots of land near the building; every single individual bed is neatly cultivated and there are people working on their small “gardens” with rakes and shovels.

57-year-old Antonina Muran lost everything in the war. Back in 2014 she lost her job in the management of the Pension Fund in Donetsk (now occupied by pro-Russian forces).

The next big nightmare was when shells started falling and exploding at my parent’s house. This happened six times! My parents could not stand these hardships and stresses of the war and both of them died very soon.

On July 19, 2019, my husband went to the garden and was killed with a shell hitting him on the left side of the chest. I still have this terrible picture of his mutilated body in my mind. All of my loved ones were gone and I remained a widow… After this terrible loss, I can’t even go to the garden on my own where this terrible tragedy took place. I only can go there with a neighbor or a friend. At the same time, I can’t stay inside all the time because I can’t survive without my small garden….”

Irina Klimenko is a local woman who lives nearby. She showed us her garden and the thing that she is proud of the most – the hand-made stove built back in 2014 by the residents to cook food when there was no gas and electricity supply after heavy shelling.

The woman works at the local technical school as a teacher of physics and mathematics. She lives with her elderly parents who receive minimal pensions. In order to provide herself and her family with food, Irina works in her garden every day to grow cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, etc.

As we walk along the alley, she shows us a gazebo that her son built with his own hands for the inhabitants of the whole building.

It is amazing to see how a neat garden appeared on a once deserted place and provides the locals with vegetables.

Some people from our building grow so much vegetables that they have enough to sell at the local market and make some additional money. As a teacher, I cannot sell things at the market, but our cellar is never empty – almost all the food comes from the garden. I was planning to go to the market next Monday to go buy some seeds for planting. I am so thankful to God that you came and brought this bag with sowing material as a gift! Thank you very much! I’ll try not to let you down and grow a generous harvest! ”

Who would have known at that moment that all of the local markets would be closed due to COVID-19 quarantine and people would not even be able to buy seeds! We are glad that God helped us help the inhabitants of this wonderful town of Krasnohorivka right on time!

Our SEED (Something to Eat Every Day) project was made possible thanks to “Orphan’s Promise” Project and ORA organization from the Netherlands.

Over 10,000 people living in war-affected eastern Ukraine are in need of seeds. Please, join us to help provide seeds for these disadvantaged people.

By Anna Chaban