Sergey and Yana decided to offer the hostel to Ukrainian refugees free of charge. The hostel went from an empty building to a fully equipped hostel, with the plan to offer a safe place to stay for up to 100 people in total.

No return

Most powerfully, is that they, as Russians, cannot return now to Russia as they face a long jail sentence for helping the Ukrainians. This has not deterred their efforts and they are committed to helping the refugees.

Yana explained that “We decided that we could also contribute to the cause of helping people whose lives were in danger and provided them with a hostel building located in Portimão free of charge. Before we had time to advertise and tell our friends that we needed all possible help, dozens of people responded to our call. Everyone contributed to the arrangement of temporary housing - people brought furniture and household appliances, people brought clothes and food, other wonderful people helped put the building in order and repair it.”

Yana added: “The entire civilised world, for which the value of human life is unconditional and indisputable, has rallied to help Ukraine in its struggle for independence against the Russian attack. There are no, and cannot be, excuses for those who unleashed a bloody massacre and decided to use brute force instead of negotiations and dialogue.”

Vivid impression

Yana went on to express her thoughts on the ongoing war “A vivid impression of my childhood is films about the war. There were many of them and they are all told about exploits and suffering, losses and grief, difficulties and hardships, heroism and betrayal. But all these films were united by one main idea - that war should never be repeated, and the Soviet slogan - "peace to the world" called for preventing bloody madness. Then it seemed to me that the war had turned into a legend and could exist only on the cinema screen or on the pages of books. But then February 24, 2022 came and people living in Europe suddenly realised that the war might not be somewhere far away - the reality being it is here, next to us.”

Bringing the peace we all need

Yana stated that “People from all over the world support the brave Ukrainians in word and deed and try to alleviate the suffering of innocent citizens. To provide shelter to those in need, to give them the opportunity to feel safe - in our opinion, the most important thing when blood is shed and people die.”

Yanna explained that “Fortunately, the European Union has decided to facilitate entry for Ukrainians forced to flee, and since the beginning of the armed conflict, about 2 million people have taken advantage of this opportunity. Portugal could not stand aside and the government decided to simplify the procedure for refugees to enter the territory of the state.”

Additionally, Yanna shared the reality of the refugee’s arrival at the hostel “When the first refugees arrived, they could not hold back their tears, they were confused and had lost their familiar world, they were frightened and wanted only one thing - peace and tranquillity. We want to believe that the war will end soon, people will stop killing each other and common sense will prevail, but for now we will meet and accommodate those in need. Let the horrors of war remain in books and films as a warning and a reminder that there is nothing more valuable than human life. Thanks to everyone who responded and helped us organise a shelter for Ukrainians and thanks to all those who will join and help bring the peace we all need.”

Families in need appeal

Please help support Sergey and Yana so they can continue to support Ukrainian refugees by providing them a safe place to stay, by kindly giving a donation to Families in need.

Families in need stated that “Despite the hostel being fully equipped, they are in need of a heating system. The cost of such a system is going to be 3999.72 euros.

“Families in need are asking for help with this as a registered Charity we would be grateful of people making donations through us which can be done through our bank account (marked as Ukrainian appeal).”

IBAN PT50 0007 0000 0051 4134 7272 3

Account name: Nadia Cann FIN

PayPal address

For more information about Algarve families in need or to get in touch with them, please see their Facebook page “Algarve Network for Families in need”.