SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - A Poway woman just returned to San Diego after spending about two weeks helping her mother, grandmother, and younger sister, after they fled the war in Ukraine.
Katya Archangel’s family has settled temporarily in Prague, after receiving a ride from a stranger at the border, and also help from Katya’s friends and strangers donating through a GoFundMe account.
“My family was very happy to have me there, they said they were finally able to relax,” said Katya Archangel. “My mission was to help my family, provide them emotional support, and financial support, to help them get settled in the Czech Republic.”
She showed us photos from a congress center that was open 24 hours to receive Ukrainian refugees.
“Found them a place to stay at least temporarily, I got them medical insurance, registered them for refugee visa in the Czech Republic,” she said.
Her mother Tetiana Arkhanhelska spoke with ABC 10News via Zoom from Prague Thursday.
“We are ok, we are in a safe place,” she said. They are staying in a temporary rental but said it has been difficult to find a more permanent place
to stay due to the high demand.
“We called a few real estate agents and they said just stop calling us because they get 200 calls every day from Ukrainians and we don't have that much apartments,” she explained.
Sadly, Arkhanhelska also had to leave her husband behind in Ukraine.
“My mom didn’t want to leave her husband behind, she was still holding hope that this will end in a few days,” said Archangel. “He drove them to the Moldovan border and he had to go back, he tried to leave the border but he wasn’t allowed because he is 57 and the men who are under 60 aren’t allowed to leave.”
Learning the United States will be increasing humanitarian aid to those impacted by the war, and allowing 100,000 Ukrainian refugees into the U.S., brings some hope but also more questions for this family.
“I would like that, yes definitely, but it all depends on the details of the program, my grandma doesn't have a passport she only has a Ukrainian ID, plus the financial assistance, if that's available, that would definitely be a motivating factor for my family to come here,” said Archangel.
While the uncertainty remains, the family says it’s so thankful for the kindness of strangers.
“I'm just so grateful, my heart is so full,” said Archangel. “Without the volunteers, without the kindness and generosity of just regular civilians who want to help, who want to do something, without that I don't know what people would do.”
Archangel has set up thisGoFundMe for those wishing to help.