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Interpreter Viktoryia: ‘I want to be of meaning for my people’

25 Jul

Meet Viktoryia (26) from Ukraine, volunteer in our medical team in Kraków. Just graduated as a doctor, she had to flee her country. Now she works as an interpreter in our clinic. What is that like for her? In this article, she shares her story.

“My name is Viktoryia, I come from a small town in the central part of Ukraine. I am a young doctor. Last summer I finished my internship. My specialty is internal medicine. After my internship I started my first real job in a hospital. Then the war started.

My family is still in Ukraine. I worry about them every minute. The situation in our hometown is very unstable. Last week they bombed the city next to ours, where I went to university. Many of my friends still live there. Physically they are safe, but it’s a fearful situation.

A place to learn

My step father and boyfriend are still on the list for the military. They are the last in line, because they have problems with their vision, but they can still be called up. I also have a brother and sister, they are 9 and 14 years old. I mainly came to Poland to find a job and a place to stay, so I can hopefully bring them here.

Right now I stay in an apartment with the other volunteers. That’s very nice. I help in the clinic as an interpreter. In Poland I can’t work as a doctor yet; first I have to get all my documents in order and go through long procedures. So I searched for a place to help as a volunteer. At the Boat Refugee Foundation I get the chance to work with great people and learn a lot. As a native Ukrainian speaker with a medical background, I can help doctors and patients understand each other better.

'Many people feel lonely'

I’m glad we can offer people a safe place where they can be seen. Many people here feel lonely. Often they just have simple complaints like the flu. But they really appreciate being able to talk to someone who can make sure that they’re okay.

A few months ago I lost my father, he died in the war. Talking to people with similar stories can sometimes be difficult. Still, I want to be of meaning to my people and support other people that help Ukrainians. So many people here try to help and do great things. I want to be a part of this.”


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