Rebuilding homes, communities
(LWI) - Saltovka in Northern Kharkiv made headlines in 2022, when rockets fired by the Russian Federation hit residential areas, killing civilians and destroying hundreds of homes. The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) have launched a project to renovate some of these homes. After a successful pilot phase, hundreds of Ukrainians have hope for a warm apartment when winter comes.
Missile strike at night
On 24 February 2022, Nadiia Filchakova, an 85-year-old Kharkiv resident, was thrown from her sleeping sofa at five o’clock in the morning by a powerful blast. A rocket had hit her apartment building in Kharkiv’s Saltovka district. “People rushed to get out of their apartments that day. Those who could, ran to a nearby school or to the underground. Those who couldn't, stayed at home”, she said, recalling a day that she will never forget.
Days later, water supply and heating were cut off, and Nadiia went to live with her godson for the next months. In June she returned to an apartment where the windows were barred with plywood and the water was leaking. The elderly lady did not know where to find money or material for the repairs to make it habitable again.
Ms Filchakova is one of more than 500 people whose names were submitted to the LWF by the city of Kharkiv, for a project to renovate apartments damaged in the war. LWF is aldo providing psychosocial support to these people.
Mykola Tishinenov is one of them. After a missile strike destroyed his apartment, the 73-year-old had to rent another apartment. Pavlo Ushakov and his wife Tatiana are pensioners, living with disabilities. They have been living in a shelter for internally displaced people in Kharkiv since their apartment was destroyed and they lost all their belongings.