At first glance seems that life goes on smoothly in Chernivsti. Although not all bars, restaurants and shops are shut down, there is something you can sense in the air. In a ordinary Thursday afternoon in March, the city is full of people. They are refugees, they have no home, no job and are looking for some sort of normality, almost as if they are under the illusion that a walk in the centre will make them forget the horrors of war. Natalia, our point of reference in Vrb, confirms to me that most of the people I see around are IDPs: «They have nothing to do, they fled their hometown where almost everything is shut down, hoping to return there soon. What else can they do if not stroll around and try to forget, even if only for 10 minutes, what they have experienced and left behind? ». She is right. Life must go on. Many other people, internally displaced, help as they can. Someone is in charge of receiving, sorting and sending humanitarian aid; there are people singing and playing in the streets; others are collecting money to support the country. There are people walking hand in hand with their children taking them to the University building which is UNESCO heritage. Life must go on, even if people are exhausted, afraid and shocked. «Why are Russians, we should say Putin, attacking? Is it fair? We are responsible of nothing yet people are dying. War brings hate, it will not be easy to start over, mend the wounds». It comes to my mind something I used to hear when I was living in Buenos Aires hanging out with las madres e abuelas de Plaza de Mayo: “ni olvido, ni perdòn”. Such atrocities will not be forgotten, nor forgiven. Yet, life must go on one way or another. While we hope that the war will soon be over, we also believe that the pain and grief caused can only be mend with love, peace and humanity. Never forgetting that we are brothers and sisters living in the same world and that humanity will win over atrocities. This is what I have seen and heard and witnessed spending my time with Natalia and Katharina in Ukraine, but also with Anastasia and her children, refugees from Odessa who arrived in Chisinau. Life and love will win.
Giovanna de Meneghi, International Relations Department