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Our Objects Tell Our Story

When the bombs started dropping, we had to leave our homes in a hurry, often with only half an hour to get out of our house, taking with us the bare essentials to get to the bomb shelters in underground stations. Some of us stayed in the shelters for days.

When a period of relative quiet came, if it was safe, we would go back to our homes to get more supplies.  Some of us never had the opportunity to return to our homes before we had to flee our country.

Mariia’s Teddy

“This toy my daughter received at the Polish-Ukrainian border. It was in a box where people had collected some staple things for Ukrainian refugees and volunteers asked us to choose what we wanted. She was very happy even in spite of the circumstances and delighted to get this toy. She had no others with us. At that moment, I realised, that we are capable of creating our own thoughts and how we feel, regardless of the circumstances!” Kate, Mariia’s mother

Viktoria’s Amber Necklace

The place where I used to live is a very small town known for rich deposits of amber. People make their earnings digging amber. They dig it out, sell, pay taxes and live mainly on this type of income. This piece of amber is my first finding. I gave it to my niece as a present, but she returned it to me as a pendant finished in our state yellow-and-blue colour. This is very important to me, it reminds me of the land where I come from,



Kate’s Vyshyvanka

“This Vyshyvanka shirt is traditional in Ukrainian culture. Historically, these shirts would be white with black and red flowers but this is a modernised version. Wearing this style of clothing has become a way for people to show their support and patriotic feeling to Ukraine with many different designs and colours. When the Homes for Ukraine Scheme started, many people wore these shirts in the family photos they sent to prospective sponsors.”

Kate’s Commemorative Coin

“After the previous Russian invasion in 2014 (Luhansk and Donetsk regions), there was a call for volunteers to fight in the army. This coin is a commemorates this day on which so many ordinary citizens volunteered.”


Natalie’s Table Dressing

“This table dressing is hand embroidered in the traditional Ukrainian style. This type of embroidery is very important in Ukrainian culture. You will find a similar set of table dressings in many Ukrainian households, and it is traditional to use these on seasonal holidays or special family events.”

Natalie’s Bulava

“Bulava means mace or club, it was one of the Ukrainian Cossack Kleinody (literally translated as jewels). Historically the Bulava was an artefact given to an officer of the highest military rank in the Cossack state and is an official emblem of the President of Ukraine. To give this item as a present is a great mark of respect to the recipient. I brought this item with me from Ukraine to give to my sponsors.”

Iryna’s Handmade Card

“My item is a handmade card that was given to me by a child in my neighbourhood (where I lived with my sponsor) the girl even took the time to hand write a message to me in Ukrainian! It was very touching for me and a pleasant surprise. It made me feel very welcome here.”

Vova’s Ukrainian Railways Train

“This is a miniature of the Ukrainian Railways train in Ukrainian flag colours with Ukraine written on it. My son is fascinated by trains and this one is very special to him. We protect this toy at all costs as it has been with us since the very start of our journey. For us, it is a symbol of Ukraine’s strength and resilience.” Galina, Vova’s mother



“This is the flag of Ukraine.”