Words of Gratitude From a Ukrainian Refugee

Words of Gratitude From a Ukrainian Refugee

My title is Yuliia Mudrak, I’m 25 years previous, and I’m from Ukraine. Before the conflict, I lived in Kyiv and labored as a licensed preschool trainer. Unfortunately, many devotees needed to go away their regular life in Ukraine because of the conflict. But on the identical time, we’ve been capable of see great examples of devotees in different international locations, who present nice concern for us Ukrainian devotees.

For the primary two days of the conflict, I stayed in my house near the temple. However when it turned too unsafe, I, like many different devotees who lived close to the temple, went to reside there. There is a really giant temple in Kyiv, so it was a good suggestion to maneuver there at the moment. We lived there as an enormous household for a number of days, and each time the air raid siren went off, we went down into the basement till it was protected to emerge once more. Very typically throughout these occasions, we’d have kirtana, so with the corporate of devotees, even conflict has its vivid facet.

One night, Acyuta Priya Prabhu mentioned that it was now additionally too harmful in Kyiv and he suggested us to evacuate. So the subsequent day the Deities, in addition to the brahmachari and the brahmachari ashrams have been evacuated. Almost all of the devotees left the temple that following morning.

I made a decision to go to Poland. First, we went to Lviv along with just a few different devotees and we have been all obtained so properly on the temple and spent the night time there. The subsequent day I arrived in Warsaw. One devotee took us to the Warsaw temple and we stayed there for 3 days. During this time, I had the great fortune to do some service and likewise meet Mataji Nareshwari, who lives within the temple and serves the Deities. She put numerous effort into caring for us, and I’m very grateful to her for that.

Shortly after that, I noticed an announcement that the Vaishnava neighborhood on the Almvik Farm in Sweden was inviting Ukrainian devotees to serve at their temple. This was being organized by way of the ISKCON Relief Team. I referred to as the contact quantity and Mataji Saraswati Gopi who’s the ISKCON Relief Coordinator for Sweden answered the cellphone. When I heard her voice, I simply knew I ought to go there so on the exact same day I went through ferry to Sweden. After 18 hours we arrived on the shores of Sweden.

The subsequent day I and three different younger refugee devotees have been picked up on the port by Narada Prabhu, a younger devotee who lives within the Almvik neighborhood. On the best way there he mentioned that we have been going to a beautiful place and I can verify that after 5 months of my keep right here, he was completely proper!

Almvik is about 50 km south of Stockholm, positioned in a stupendous forest. Immediately after our arrival, Saraswati Gopi, Lalita Sakhi, Krishna Bhakti, Shri Prada, and Kamala Priya Matajis started to handle us with unimaginable dedication. They helped us quiet down and supplied us with all our requirements. Similarly, many different devotees helped us a lot whereas we have been there. Sometime after our arrival, Kamala Priya and Saraswati Gopi Matajis organized to participate in an EU-funded Erasmus+ volunteer venture that operates right here in Almvik. This is a venture for European youth and it consists of providers within the temple and neighborhood, language studying, excursions in Sweden, and even stitching or artwork workshops. All these match into 32 hours every week. So I signed a Volunteering Agreement for two months. The mentor and coordinator of the volunteering venture are Mataji Kamala Priya.

Bhaktin Yuliia sporting her self-made gopi gown and receiving her certificates as an EU Volunteer from Kamala Priya Devi Dasi.

During my time as a volunteer, I served as a pujari assistant, cooked breakfasts and dinners for the devotees, saved the temple clear, for 8 hours every week I used to be babysitting slightly Vaishnavi whereas her mom was doing service, I visited many locations of sightseeing in Stockholm, visited a Waldorf-school and their nursery kindergarten, and likewise the ISKCON temple in Korsnäs which isn’t so far-off. I additionally sewed a pleasant gopi gown as a part of a venture with the help of Mataji Krishna Bhakti. Also, whereas dwelling in Almvik, I used to be capable of attend morning and night applications, and a number of other occasions I used to be capable of attend Harinamas in Stockholm. The volunteer venture additionally helped me financially in order that I might purchase garments and different needed issues, pay for my ticket to fly to London, and as well as give some month-to-month pocket cash.

Throughout my keep within the Almvik neighborhood, the devotees helped me remedy all of the difficulties that arose and took nice care of me. In specific, once I had well being issues in April, Mataji Kamala Priya, Saraswati Gopi, and Jivakesha helped me to beat them and repeatedly made appointments with medical doctors and drove me a number of occasions to a specialist in Stockholm.

During this time I met Mataji Lalita Sakhi from London. She got here along with her husband Shyamasundara Prabhu for every week to go to the Almvik neighborhood. She instructed me in regards to the legendary Bhaktivedanta Manor temple and I actually wished to go to there. Lalita Sakhi then mentioned that I might come to England beneath the help program for Ukrainians and keep at her home, not removed from the temple. Mataji Inna who’s the ISKCON Relief Coordinator for the UK helped me lots to acquire a visa. She does an ideal service, coordinating the British and Ukrainian devotees in order that they’ll discover one another.

Last week, on June twenty first, Mataji Kamala Priya drove me to the airport and I flew to London. Mataji Lalita Sakhi and Shyamasundara Prabhu kindly obtained me on the airport and introduced me to their residence. They are taking nice care of me now and serving to with all of the paperwork and adaptation.

We have no idea when the conflict in Ukraine will finish. I hope it’ll occur as quickly as potential. For now, I need to make good use of my keep right here in England. Now my plans are to work on the Manor gurukula, ranging from September 2022. My work will likely be to assist the Ukrainian youngsters adapt to English-speaking society and assist them with translation. I may also do service on the temple, attend the applications and enhance my very own English abilities.

All glories to all of the devotees who are actually serving to the Ukrainian yatra and to the ISKCON Relief Team who’re coordinating so expertly. Your care is invaluable. And I need to specific my particular gratitude to the Swedish devotees Mataji Saraswati Gopi and Kamala Priya, who’re immersed in service to the devotees with all their hearts, and likewise the English devotees Mataji Inna and Lalita Sakhi, in addition to Shyamasundara Prabhu who handle me right here in England.





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