‘When it All Started’ by Marcie Farthing-Sargeant, Age 14

The conflict in Ukraine is scary. For my own safety, I had to be airlifted to England. My mother and father raised me in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. I was in class one day when the war siren began to sound. We had to hide in the school’s basement, but everyone survived. However, my parents were killed at work.

I ran away and spent about 5 days sleeping in an underground railway station for my protection until a police officer came and took me to a group where some other children were being moved to England to flee the war. The trek had been far too lengthy. I didn’t say anything to anyone. I was missing my folks. They were gone in an instant. They were there one second, then they weren’t.

I was placed with a wonderful family who has taken amazing care of me for the past two years. I still think about my biological parents because I miss them so much. But I believe they’d be relieved that I’m now safe and happy.

Our city has been destroyed, including the homes, schools, structures, and people. I miss my family. I miss my buddies; I’m not even sure if they’re still alive; some of them departed before me, and some may still be alive. I attempted to phone them but received no response. Why does Russia require Ukraine although it is such a large country? Why are they attempting to seize our land? I’m furious.

Even though I’ve been in England for a few years, I’m still getting used to it. My entire youth was spent in Ukraine. I’m doing well in school, and my English has improved significantly. I can almost speak it fluently! When the battle is finished, I intend to return there, to the city, and begin over.