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They hiding for three months in the money room

December 17, 2022, 21:45 227 Author: Larisa Krupina life.pravda.com.ua How a foster mother with 14 children escaped the war in the Dnepropetrovsk region.

They hiding for three months in the money room

In the handset, the sound is interrupted all the time.

- Wait, now I’ll run out into the street, it catches well there, says Valentina Ivanovna Tkalya, foster mother.

Suddenly I hear the sound of gunfire. "There's something wrong here," I think. What kind of explosions in Yaremche, where Valentina long ago moved her entire large family from Marganets?

- Yes, I'm in Marganets again! she explains. – I broke out to get things.

The sounds of gunfire intensify. Oh, Lord, my call is definitely untimely... But the question of whether Valentina is afraid to take 30 children (namely, how many she raised by creating a family-type orphanage in Marganets in 2014) disappears by itself. This woman is definitely not a shy one.

She not only saved the lives of all her children and took them to a safe place. And together with them she actively helped the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the territorial defense and the settlers. And her oldest daughters, 16-year-old Nastya and Marina, generally became known throughout Japan. Because they made live video reports about the war for Japanese children, showing its terrible realities.

Let's tell their story.

They hiding for three months in the money room

Meeting of the New Year 2022 in the house of the Tkal family in Marganka. Holiday lights, outfits, gifts. Children are happy.

"She promised God: "If I survive, I will take my daughter!"

Valentina Ivanivna's foster mother could have died an orphan herself. Well, what are the chances of an abandoned baby with a critically low weight of 1700 grams?

- But my grandmother, who loved me very much, did not allow this to happen, - Valentyna Tkalya recalls on the phone, having returned to Yaremche. - I was adopted immediately after birth. It was winter. And the grandmother, the mother of the adoptive mother, warmed me, a little one, in the oven. That was "rehabilitation" in those years... There was nothing else.

They did not think that I would survive. And I survived. Then, when she herself took the children from the shelters, and they both wanted it and were afraid, so that they would not be afraid of the unknown, she said: "I am of the same blood as you. I am the same as you. I was not allowed to perish, and I will not let you!"

Valentina found out that she was adopted only at the age of 37. They said "good people". It turns out that everyone knew that she was adopted. Even the groom, when he took her as his wife, knew. But he didn't say anything.

"I died then", Valentina admits. - It took a long time to come back to life. My husband pulled me out of depression. Convinced: tell the child the truth about being adopted as soon as possible. She began to search, and searched for her parents all her life, but did not find them. Suddenly, I understood very acutely what the children from the shelter, which is next to our house, and which my husband and I often helped, because we were engaged in agricultural business and had the opportunity, felt. I wanted to give joy to at least one orphan. But I had to raise three sons...

When the boys finally graduated from higher education and established themselves in life, she could no longer sleep peacefully. But then it was not possible to take the child. Oncological disease, struggle for two years.

- She promised God: "If I survive, I will take my daughter." And took three! (Laughs). It happened in 2011. And then one more! Then, in 2014, we created a family-type orphanage. Thus, my husband Volodya and I became parents to 30 children. Some of them have already grown up and started their own families. Plus we have our three sons. We have been with their father for more than 40 years. I waited for him from the army, says Valentina. - Dad's children adore him. Both blood and heart-born. On February 23, they congratulated us on the 42nd anniversary of our married life. At that time, no one had any idea that the city would be bombed in the morning... And now your heart is pounding. How to protect children?

They hiding for three months in the money room

On February 23, 2022, Valentina and Vladimir celebrated 42 years of happy married life. And the next day the war broke out

At that time, there were 14 children with the woman: Volodymyr, 17, 16-year-old Marina, Nastya and Maximilian, 15-year-old Anya, 14-year-old Ivan and Serhiy, 13-year-old Mykhailo, 12-year-old Artem, another Artem and Angelina, 11-year-old Arina, 10-year-old Oleksandra and 6-year-old Victoria.

"I drowned as a child. But war is even worse"

Valentyna's older daughters, 16-year-old Nastia and Maryna, who, when the family lived in Marhanets, were making video reports for Japanese children from the scene, also remember February 24. How their father went up to the second floor, how they talked loudly with their mother about something, and then he quickly came down and told everyone to get ready immediately: "War!"

- I did not believe it! Nastia recalls. I thought that something just exploded somewhere, and everything would stop soon... I was drowning as a child, and I was saying goodbye to my life, and my brother saved me. It was scary. But the war is even worse. Because then I was afraid only for myself. And now I am also afraid for my friends and relatives...

The children grabbed their anxious suitcases packed in advance. But that day the family could not get out. And the parents, like many others, were disoriented: so many children, plus grandchildren, how to take them all out? Where can they be taken at the same time? How to leave without getting under shelling? They decided to stay in their house.

- Where did you hide during the bombing?" I ask.

- In the money room, - Marynka answers.

- Interesting!

- Not anymore! Because there is no money there for a long time. There used to be a bank in our house. Mom said that 20 years ago. It left a cool hiding place with armored doors and walls. We put shelves there, covered them with mattresses, brought blankets, water, provisions - both for people and for our dogs and cats. After all, how to leave them? We do not abandon our own.

We love animals very much. Once a dog got stuck in the fence, it was very tangled, so we dragged ladders, water and food, and untangled and released it, and even fed it! And in our "bunker" we were all together: parents, children, dogs and cats, and toys...

- How did you calm down? Who hugged whom? Who hugged a toy, who a friend, who a dog?

- We hugged each other, Nastia recalls, and our parents said: Don't worry, everything will be fine, it will be over soon.

Valentyna Ivanovna recalls that in her Soviet childhood, when it was not very common to dote on children, she really missed attention, hugs, kisses, some secrets with her parents. Therefore, she tried to give it to all her children with more than enough.

"And in return, my father and I received kisses and hugs from the children 20 times a day", she smiles.

There, in the home bomb shelter, she would hug them even tighter, and when the alarm was over, she would let them out into the yard to jump on the trampoline and swim in the home pool: childhood should be childhood.

They hiding for three months in the money room

In between alarms, the mother allowed the kids to swim in the home pool. But on June 11, the family evacuated to Yaremche (Ivano-Frankivsk region)

"We hid for three months in ... a little room for money"

At the same time, parents tried to unite their children with common activities.

- We were making dumplings and stuffed cabbage rolls together, Nastia recalls. Even our youngest, six-year-old Vikusia, was weaving nets for the territorial defense.

Their family helped IDPs and soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with food, clothes, diapers for the kids, money. The executive committee of Marhanets constantly collected aid for the soldiers: nets, canned food, sweets, and their family also helped. After all, they used to have enough supplies for a huge family. Sometimes, however, they went to buy bread. They bought some products.

Meanwhile, Japanese journalists began to look for children who could tell young Japanese about the war in Ukraine on the air. The Ukrainian charitable organization "Blahomay" Foundation put them in touch with the family of Valentina and Vladimir. The presenters were decided immediately: older sisters, mother's assistants Nastya, who is fond of dancing and drawing, and Marynka, who loves volleyball and also draws. Accustomed to public speaking, to defending their opinions, they were ideally suited for this role.

They hiding for three months in the money room

Nastia and Marina (far right) with mom and dad. Mom boasts that they are not only very talented, but also good helpers

The host in the Japanese studio was journalist Masashi Teramoto. On the Ukrainian side, in their homeland, Nastia and Maryna were broadcasting live.

- We were hiding in the money room for three months, says Nastia, and in between the shelling we went up to the house and got in touch with the Japanese. Often Japanese children, after our stories about how our soldiers are fighting, how civilians endure the trouble, asked to show them what is outside our house. And we live on the coastal territory of the Kakhovka reservoir, 6 kilometers from us to Zaporizhzhya NPP through the reservoir.

It is located in Enerhodar. And power units are visible from the windows of our house. And although the windows were covered with tape, through which you can not see much, the Japanese children were horrified at first, then sang in support of Japanese songs and sent hearts. Marina and I sang in response "Oh, there is a red viburnum in the meadow...".

- However, the audience did not sing along - they had not yet learned the words "Oh, in the meadow" - Marina smiles - but the anthem of Ukraine - with pleasure. They all know it! In the end, we said goodbye and thanked them: "Goodbye! Arigato!". They responded with air kisses and proclaimed: "Glory to Ukraine!"

One day, when the young hosts were showing the Japanese a video of what was happening outside the window of their house, explosions suddenly began to be heard. Although they were far away, the mother quickly ordered her daughters to go down to the bunker in their house.

The girls interrupted the live broadcast. The little Japanese viewers were shocked. Probably, after that they made boxes with the flag of Ukraine and went to the prefecture for permission to install these boxes in the city center. The money collected was transferred to the needs of children of Ukraine who suffer from Russian aggression.

"I would compare them to the Great Wall of China"

Meanwhile, they decided to leave. Their whole family. All 14 children and parents.

- At what moment did mom and dad make such a decision? - I ask the girls.

- You know, it hit very close to our window, - Maryna explains, - and it also hit the center. Explosions often occurred 200-300 meters away from all sides. When it became clear that it was impossible to stay, my mother gathered documents and started calling everyone who could help to leave. She solved this issue very quickly. And on June 11 we left for Lviv by an evacuation train. Then we got to Yaremche.

They hiding for three months in the money room

Between worries, the mother allowed the little one to splash around in the home pool. But on June 11, the family still evacuated to Yaremche (Ivano-Frankivsk region)

There the family settled in a house, which was rented by the charitable non-governmental organization SOS Children's Villages Ukraine. The house is smaller than theirs in Marganets, but there is enough space for everyone. The main thing is that the children are in rooms by two, just like in their own home. They feel cozy and comfortable here. However, they still want to go home. Their house survived. Тільки вікна повилітали.

–And how is your project? Have you contacted Japan in the new place?

- Yes, - Marina continues, - Masashi came to Yaremche, spent two unforgettable days with us and gave us gifts from Japanese children: heaters, toys, socks, tablets. The rest of the money was transferred to the "Blagomai" fund for the needs of other refugee children. He held another broadcast and invited us to visit Japan. So we are all waiting for the victory...

They hiding for three months in the money room

Journalist Masashi Teramoto together with Nastya (far left), Marina and the youngest of the sisters Vikusya

The faces of the girls are not overcast, they are calm. They feel safe. And how else, if mom is always around. So even now, during our video call, she quietly tells her daughters something, worried. Although not in the frame.

Of course, I ask Nastya and Maryna about mom Valentina and dad Volodymyr. How do they see them?

- Probably, I would compare them to such a strong Chinese wall, - Nastya instantly responds. - Such defense, defense...

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