October 2023

War to Healing: Larysa's Journey

Beginning of Life (BOL) has already achieved significant progress in Moldova this year, by supporting both vulnerable Moldovans and Ukrainian refugee families. They’ve provided therapy, counselling and self-help groups that have already benefited more than 300 men and women. In addition, they’ve reached 105 Moldovan and 35 Ukrainian children, along with over 120 Moldovan and 150 Ukrainian teenagers.

BOL’s commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable individuals and families is evident in their ongoing initiatives, including the creation of educational materials and the ongoing development of an online platform. Individuals like Larysa, whose life has been positively affected by BOL’s programmes.


My name is Larysa and I come from Ochakov in the Mykolaiv region of Ukraine.

Before I came to Moldova, I worked as a speech therapist, specialising in working with autistic children at an inclusive centre. Even after the war began, I continued my work for about a month and a half. Unfortunately, my husband had passed away shortly before the war, and my son lives in another city. During the early days of the conflict, I found myself in a bomb shelter at our centre, helping families with small children by setting up cots, preparing kettles, and caring for the children.

Larysa story
Story of Larysa (1)

The hardest part of those days was realising we were totally defenceless as we witnessed shelling and loss of lives, especially children who were wounded. When reports emerged of Russian special forces planning to land, I knew it was time to leave. Constant rocket and drone attacks have made it too risky to return to my hometown.

I arrived in Moldova on April 8, 2022, thanks to a friend who had settled here a few months earlier. I had initial doubts, but my son bought tickets and encouraged me to go.

“Coping with this year of war was initially challenging as everything felt unfamiliar, and I yearned to return home. ”

However, I gradually adapted to life in Moldova, where I encountered friendly people always willing to help and provide guidance, despite language barriers. The cultural similarities made communication easier.

I learned about Beginning of Life and the School for Parents programme through a friend who received assistance from the centre. Initially, I visited for food and hygiene supplies, but I soon joined the group sessions. Opening up was difficult due to the trauma I had experienced, so I sought solace in art therapy, which I found very beneficial.

Story of Larysa (2) 1

Being a part of the School for Parents groups has been a source of comfort and community. I eagerly anticipate the weekly meetings as they provide a place for my soul. Interacting with various people, discussing important topics, and exploring faith through the Bible have been crucial for my personal growth and emotional healing. In fact, these sessions have inspired me to delve deeper into my faith. I now read the Bible on my own, draw conclusions, pray, and ask God to grant peace in my soul and country. Thanks to these sessions, I’ve started going out more, sleeping peacefully, and finding a new understanding of myself and others.

If the war ended today, I would give thanks to God and return to my home, no matter the condition it’s in. I long for the day when I can go back.

Story of Larysa

“I have hope for a peaceful future, Ukraine’s independence and the possibility of working with children again brings me joy.”

WorldShare is proud to support the impactful work of Beginning of Life in transforming the lives of vulnerable individuals and families in Moldova. The inspiring stories, like that of Larysa, showcase the positive changes that BOL brings to various aspects of the community, from family support to child development. You too can make a difference by getting involved and contributing to these life-changing initiatives.

Together, we can create a brighter future for those in need.