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Sharing a story: Elena and her children, refugees from Ukraine

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

A woman, Elena, with a 15-year-old son, Daniel who has non-verbal autism, turned to the Red Cross help center for help. She injured her finger while traveling on a train and it became inflamed and infected, as the train was very dirty. Elena says that the family, which includes her two other children, 13-year-old twins, fled Kharkov "at the last moment". Elena has no idea where they will go; they have no acquaintances or friends in Europe. Their goal for the near future is to calm and stabilize Daniel, who is in wild stress with no understanding of the situation. Elena has also had to solve the problem of dressing Daniel and changing his diaper. Although in the refugee center almost everything is provided to meet the needs of people, Elena did not know how to solve her problem. She could not change diapers and carry out hygiene measures with Daniel either in the women's toilet (because Daniel is a young man), or in the men's one, because Daniel cannot serve himself, his mother does it. We allocated a screened-off place for Elena and her son at our help center and I helped Elena change Daniel's diaper, wipe him with wet wipes and change Daniel's underwear and trousers, since his jeans had already been wet for several hours. On the train, Elena did not have the opportunity to carry out these procedures. After all this, Daniel calmed down, Elena got help with her finger and they returned to her two other children. When I walked around the center, I saw a few families with autistic young adults. They suffer a lot. It is heart breaking.

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