"Organizing yoga classes for IOM Moldova is important for me, but it is even more important for the Ukrainian women who attend my courses. Yoga helps them to forget the war for a few hours."
Since January 2023, three times a week, the IOM MHPSS Team in Moldova has been organizing yoga classes in the city of Balti for Ukrainian refugees, mainly women.
The classes are coordinated by Tatiana, 32, from Odesa.
She arrived in Moldova with her 1-year-old daughter on February 24, 2022, to flee the war. She didn't know where to live, what to do, and she felt lost. Over the months, she accepted the harsh reality of the war in her country and the need to start from scratch, look for a job and start leading a normal life.
“I started socializing and making friends, which helped me overcome anxiety and fear. The job offered by the IOM mission helped me feel better because I support Ukrainian women who experienced war and have to deal with stress, like I did”.
In Ukraine, Tatiana was a dance and yoga instructor and she had more than 50 children attending her classes. Her new life in Moldova was reborn from the work she loves.
“I love what I'm doing for the IOM. It is very hard for us Ukrainians to manage stress. Yet, in this space Ukrainian women feel safe, put their problems aside and can even sculpt their bodies, which is good. Yoga really helps to manage emotions, and as a yoga teacher I enjoy helping people feel better. I have been helped and I feel that now it's my turn to help.”
Today, Tatiana, although happy with her life in Moldova, hopes to be able to return home to Ukraine soon. “No matter how well you settle into a new place, nothing gives you the same feeling of home and peace.”