Safety From Fear and Violence

When fighting broke out in Donetsk, Ukraine between the government and separatist forces last year, Raisa Libenson believed she and her family would be safe at home.

It wasn’t until a mortar shell tore through the walls and furniture of her apartment, leaving the 78-year-old temporarily deaf, that she realized she had to leave.

“Shell fragments were all over my bed,” she recalled with terror. “There was smoke in the apartment. I rushed into the room and it felt like something hot flew over me. I froze with fear. I [didn’t know] how I would survive.”

Since then, Libenson and her husband of 56 years have been staying in a JDC-run center for internally displaced people in Pavlograd, a city a few dozen miles from the frontline. There, they receive food, medicine and whatever else they need to feel safe and secure amid the ongoing conflict.