Larysa Pedorenko

Hello. My name is Larysa Pedorenko. My husband and I come from the village of Shevchenkivske, near the settlement of Stebliv. This is Cherkasy district – the region where the famous Nechui-Levytskyi was born. Also nearby is the Taras Shevchenko Museum, in the village of Moryntsy. However, we have moved to Uzhhorod long time ago, where we still live.
I am now 49 years old. I have two adult daughters: 28 and 22 years old. I have a secondary special education, but I have been working as an entrepreneur for a very long time — I have my own business. The occupation did not change with the outbreak of the war. I work in an atelier and also find some time for my hobbies: sewing, crocheting, felting, soap making, shoe repair. I love it when my hands and brain are busy.
Before the war, if possible, we went to our parents to help. My mother has lost her sight, and my father is ill. My husband’s relatives, unfortunately, died from the consequences of Chornobyl. When we came to visit my parents, we always visited my sister, who lives nearby. I remember how much fun we had when we went swimming in the Ros. We loved to travel. Last summer we came to Vinnytsia to see the fountains. We were also in Uman, Lviv… It becomes scary that some places remain only in photos…
For me, the war started back in 2014. No, I didn’t run away from the Donbass… But my husband is a veteran of the ATO, it was there that he became disabled. Therefore, we were able to feel the cold breath of danger and experience the pain of military operations long before February 24, 2022. However, the news of the start of a full-scale invasion still came as a real SHOCK.
Now I am constantly under stress… I feel a hellish fear for the lives of my relatives who are fighting. But I try to stay calm and move on with my life. I am motivated to do this by volunteering and the support of my family. Now I work in an atelier where I sew clothes not only for customers, but also for refugees and the army. My loved ones also help. They will always find the necessary words to give peace of mind and provide tangible support.
Now we are waiting for my uncle from Kharkiv. He was a military man in the past and in his 70s went to war… There is also not very pleasant news. Now we are looking for some relatives from Gostomel… I pray for them to be alive. Our family members from Zhytomyr live in the basement, those from Chernihiv — in parents’ house of my husband. There are also those who went abroad. They work and send money to the army. We pray for our relatives who are now at war, and help them in any way we can!
In such difficult times, you begin to appreciate peace of mind. That’s why I often do needlework. Knitting is a family tradition for me. This is an asset that all the women of our extended family pass down from generation to generation. So, I’ve been able to sew and knit since I was a kid. I really like to do everything with my own hands. And the result of the work done is always pleasing to the eye.