Zhyliaeva Svitlana

Hello, my name Is Zhyliaeva Svitlana. I was born on New Year’s Eve — December 31, 1973. Therefore, our family has always had a double holiday. I am a happy wife and mother of an adult son, who is 29 years old. Before the war, we had a quiet and stable life in the wonderful city of Zhytomyr.

 I have a higher education and am a teacher by profession. However, it didn’t happen as expected. Quite quickly I became private entrepreneur and opened my own grocery store. To have time for myself, I hired an employee. I myself devoted my free minutes to repairing and sewing clothes. I like to restore things made of fur — this is a real magic. I also willingly knit to order, creating unique products.

 But on 24.02.22 everything changed… I woke up to explosions. Not far from my house there is an airfield, which is where the first missiles hit. But I was so shocked that I couldn’t even realize what was going on. That morning, automatically, I went to work in a small town near Zhytomyr.

 This is how my first experience of war began. However, I didn’t even have a question about leaving — I immediately decided to stay at home. Just so you understand, we are not at all calm… there were a lot of hits in my city. A school, a maternity hospital, a hostel, a factory, and residential areas are only a small part of the destruction. A week after the war started, my 9-story building almost turned into a wasteland. Only 4 apartments remained occupied…

 We didn’t panic, although sometimes it seemed that just a little more and we couldn’t stand it. These days, my husband’s support was very useful. Needlework also helped to gather thoughts together. Knitting and embroidery have become a real salvation. It was thanks to my hobbies that I was able to be useful to our soldiers. During the more active phase of the war in my city, I participated in net weaving. I also sewed plate carriers and backpacks for some time, until my sewing machine refused to work…

 To relax my thoughts and soul, I began to devote more time to my favorite hobby. I have been fond of knitting since childhood. My father showed me the first loops. I was still young at the time — about 4 years old. I’ll never forget how I practiced my skills with thick cotton thread, even on matches. As many as 3 loops were placed there.

 Today knitting has become my pleasure and relaxation. This is such a complete meditation. Only when knitting I plunge into my own world, where there are no explosions and evil. In these moments, you can dream a little about peace and calm.