Ukrainian Easter Far from Home

Easter, just like Spring, represents a time for rebirth, renewal, and hope. But things just don’t feel the same this year as the deadly conflict in Ukraine continues. The world has watched in horror as thousands of people have been killed and 11 million more have been forced to run for their lives as their homes are reduced to rubble. 

During a plea for peace, Pope Francis recently summarized the Ukraine war as:

“Mothers who mourn the unjust death of husbands and sons. Refugees who flee from bombs with children in their arms. Young people are deprived of a future. Soldiers sent to kill their brothers and sisters.”

Perhaps some hope can be found in the resilience of those who have been most affected by these tragic events. We spoke to a few of the Ukrainians who will be spending this Easter far away from friends and family who have taken refuge in shelters, schools, and people’s homes across Ukraine and in neighboring countries like Romania and Moldova. 

Ukrainian Easter stories in their own words


Liza, 22, from Odesa, Ukraine, now staying with a host family in Bucharest, Romania

“Here in Romania, they celebrate Easter just like we do. They make coloured eggs just like Ukrainians. The family hosting us will join us and we will make eggs and cakes. Usually, in Ukraine, we get up in the morning and go to church and then go to my grandparents to eat and play games and talk. At Easter, everyone should be together.”


Anton, 15, from Odessa, Ukraine, now staying with a host family in Bucharest, Romania

“(During Easter) we should pay attention to relatives and don’t forget about them. Usually, when we have Easter we have a lot of people, we have food, eggs, and cake. It’s very good spending time with family when you’re in the kitchen and cooking so that then when you’re eating you understand that you did it with love with your family.”


Mother and Daughter Julia and Sofia are staying in a school shelter in Chernivtsi, a town in western Ukraine

Julia: “(this Easter) I want to see my family. Never in my life have I wanted to see them as I do now. We are all different and when everyone gets together, we argue, often it’s loud but (next time) we will be silent. We’ll just be happy to be together and alive.”

Sofia: “Maybe I will help my mom make sweets and after that, I will get to eat the glaze and sprinkles that go on top of the pasha (Easter cake). We’ll also eat eggs.” 


Xenia, 12, escaped Kyiv and is staying in a school shelter with her mother and younger sister in Chernivtsi, a town in western Ukraine

“We buy kinder chocolates and hide them in the house and search for them with all the family. We also play with eggs. The egg game involves two people holding eggs and crashing them together. The winner is the one whose egg hasn't broken. We use paper to make rabbits.” (Ukrainian origami) 


Tatiana, from Odessa, Ukraine, now staying with a host family in Bucharest, Romania

“Usually for Easter, in the morning we go to church as a family and then together we go to my parent’s house and talk. It’s such a pleasure to be all together. Maybe this year we can all be together again with my husband.” 



World Vision has been working in Ukraine and Romania since the first week of the crisis and is quickly scaling up its work to support children and their families with essentials and other critical services to reach nearly 300,000 people in Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia within the next few months. Learn how you can help: here


Written By: 
World Vision