Nataliia Ilchenko

Nataliia Ilchenko

My name is Nataliia Ilchenko. I’m originally from Kyiv, Ukraine.

I am nominating myself as a refugee under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, and I want to share the deeply personal story of my journey with you.

The 24th of February marked a day that forever altered the lives of Ukrainians across the country, including mine. As Russian forces invaded Ukraine, chaos and devastation engulfed my homeland, shattering the tranquillity of everyday life. The once-peaceful streets echoed with the sounds of gunfire and explosions, and the air was thick with fear and uncertainty.

Before finding refuge in the UK, I found myself stranded in Poland, a stranger in a foreign land, grappling with the harsh realities of displacement. Each day was a struggle to survive, haunted by the memories of the life I once knew and the uncertainty of what the future held. The nights were long and sleepless, filled with the echoes of distant bombings and the anguish of those left behind.

In the midst of despair, a glimmer of hope emerged in the form of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. It offered a lifeline to those like me, providing a chance to escape the horrors of war and rebuild shattered lives in a safe haven far from the conflict zone.

Though the scars of war may never fully heal, I am determined to use my experiences to inspire hope and resilience in others, showing them that even in the darkest of times, there is always a path forward.

Leaving behind everything I had known was a decision weighed down by the heavy burden of sacrifice. I bid farewell to cherished memories, beloved family members, and the familiar comforts of home, uncertain if I would ever see them again. But the promise of safety and opportunity in the UK beckoned, offering a ray of hope amidst the darkness that had engulfed my life.

Arriving in London was both a relief and a revelation. The bustling streets and vibrant culture offered a stark contrast to the desolation of war-torn Ukraine. Yet, amidst the newfound sense of security, the pain of loss and displacement remained ever-present, a constant reminder of the price paid for freedom.

After a year of settling into life in London, I made a decision that would shape the course of my future. Despite the challenges of starting afresh in a foreign land without any support, I resolved to create my own company, EduSpot Educational Consultancy, that provides educational services mainly for Ukrainians so far with a mission to empower people through education to achieve their goals.

The journey of entrepreneurship was fraught with obstacles, from navigating complex legal requirements to securing funding and building a customer base. But fuelled by my passion for making a difference in the lives of others, I refused to be deterred by the daunting odds stacked against me.

With unwavering determination and perseverance, I forged ahead, pouring every ounce of energy into realizing my vision. Slowly but surely, my efforts began to bear fruit as I witnessed first-hand the transformative impact of education on empowering individuals to overcome adversity and pursue their dreams.

For me, this opportunity is immense. Despite the difficulties, I see tremendous value in my business and services. I am driven by a desire to help people make their dreams come true and to show that despite the challenges, everything is possible. However, support would be a tremendous help for me in furthering this mission.

As I reflect on my journey, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to rebuild my life in London and make a meaningful contribution to my new community. Though the scars of war may never fully heal, I am determined to use my experiences to inspire hope and resilience in others, showing them that even in the darkest of times, there is always a path forward.

In conclusion, my journey from Ukraine to London is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of education to transform lives. Though the road ahead may be challenging, I am committed to continuing my mission of empowering others to achieve their full potential, one step at a time.

Pioneer 20 2024 - Top 20 refugee women in the EU

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