Marta Shcherbatiuk

Hello. My Name Is Marta, I am 37 years old. I have two sons: Nikita (14 years old) and Zakhar (7 years old). Before the war our family lived in the settlement Pershotravneve Korosten district, Zhytomyr Oblast. At home, I worked as a cashier and accountant, because I have special education. I also sometimes knitted things to order, but then it was more like a hobby, which also brought profit. We had a very quiet life. It was our personal happiness.

The war was a real shock. In the morning of 24.02.22 we heard explosions. Because from our side of the border, an offensive on Kiev started. Also, right above us is the

aviation air corridor. Warplanes — this terrible hum is impossible to forget, it will forever remain in my memory. This is the first, very terrible, experience of war for me and my children.

There were almost no thoughts that morning. It’s a shock. A few hours were crucial. I almost immediately started packing things, because there is no cellar in my private house. Regarding the bomb shelter — it is not provided in the village, and you need to run to the nearest basement for 5 minutes. With children, this is not an option. And sirens. In Pershotravneve, there were none, and even now there aren’t. People are guided through the app and by the sound, the echoes of which are barely audible. And this is the border! You won’t make it anyway. Therefore, the decision to leave immediately was made instantly.

We went first to Lubeshiv. But I was very drawn home. We couldn’t cope with these experiences and came back. However, after 4 days we had to leave again, because it became very scary. The road to evacuation was not easy. Right in front of our eyes, a bomb fell on the checkpoint. It killed both the military there and civilians who were at the point and were too close to it. Running away for the second time, we began to breathe only in  Rivne Oblast. The children didn’t even talk — they couldn’t come to their senses from the shock. They became very mature and resilient in an instant.

Now life in a foreign city is gradually improving. Children continue their education with their teachers, but remotely. I started learning English, and in my spare time I knit. We are gradually adapting to the new conditions, and we have already started going out for walks around the city. Not without the helping the military: we wove camouflage nets, which are now very necessary. I also really want to sign up my youngest son for football. He really likes this game, and there is a stadium with a sports school nearby.

It was then that I realized how lucky I am to be able to knit. My mother taught me how to make the first loops when I was 7 years old. Then I improved my skills on my own. With a smile, I remember how much I enjoyed reading and analyzing schemes. However, the first full — fledged thing I knitted only in the 8th grade – it was a nice sweater. After that, I sometimes knitted for myself. The turning point was maternity leave when I was 23 years old. It was then that I started taking my first knitting orders. Then there was a small break — I became interested in weaving from newspaper tubes. However,  soon I returned to knitting. This is due to the fact that I love the process itself, and clients started appearing.

In wartime, knitting was a real salvation. After all, it helps to calm down — this is a kind of meditation :). Even during the trip to my new city, I was knitting a sweater in the car. After all, when creating a new thing in the head there is no unnecessary hassle. I only think about keeping the loops straight. Such concentration helps to “put in a line” the thoughts— puts them in order.

Today I’m trying to get back to a full life. When creating new things, I only dream of one thing: so that children will never know these horrors and learn to experience joy again.