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Katerina, Ukrainian Refugee

Where in Ukraine are you from?

In Ukraine, I lived in Kharkiv, which is very close to the border with Russia. From the first day of the war Kharkiv became one of the hottest spots.

When did you come to Market Harborough and how did you get here?

I came with a part of my family on 19 March 2022 and we got here via Poland by plane after getting our visas.

What’s one important for you thing that you have brought with you to Market Harborough that you’d like to talk about?

For the exhibition, I would like to pass a toy that my daughter has received at the Polish-Ukrainian border. We crossed the border and found this thing in a box where people had collected some staple things for Ukrainian refugees. The volunteers offered us to choose what we needed from this box, it was very important for my daughter.

Why is this subject so important to you?

This toy is very special to me because I remember my own strong emotions, which I experienced looking into my daughter’s eyes when we found this thing in the box. The child was very happy even in spite of the circumstances under which we were there. She was delighted to get this toy. At that moment, I realized that we are capable of creating our own thoughts and how we feel, regardless of the circumstances!

What makes Market Harborough special to you?

Actually, I didn’t know about the existence of this wonderful city before. I got acquainted with Market Harborough through my family, my father in law lives here, it has made the town special to me. Now we live here and I like the rhythm of the city and of course the people!

If you could share one memory of Market Harborough, what would it be?

I think that, first of all, it is the central square and the highest steeple in the city in this square, that is what I remember the most. And also my emotions from the fact that there are no big buildings in the place, because I came from a vast city in which we live in apartments in multi-storied buildings, so it was interesting and new for me.

What is your favourite place in Market Harborough?

Actually, I think I like the square the most because it’s the first thing I saw, the first thing I remember. These are my emotions, which are always with me, so it’s important to me. And I really like the canal.

If you could share one message with the people of Harborough, what would it be?

First and foremost is a sincere gratitude to the people of Market Harborough and the area around, for being so kind to us. And you can be sure that we, Ukrainians, will always remember this, and we are very grateful to you for this!

What are your plans for the future?

You know, now we Ukrainians joke, saying that we do not make plans, especially plans for the distant future. There are no plans; life is here and now!

What is the main thing that you have understood during this period of life?

I think the most important thing I’ve learned is that I can cope up with any situation. Life throws us different circumstances and different situations, it depends only on us how we handle them, how we get out of the situation. And if I have a choice, I have control! So, it is me who decides how everything will be!