Ukrainian refugee family in Durham spend Ukrainian Independence Day miles from home

ByLaura Browne via WTVD logo
Thursday, August 25, 2022
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Ukrainian refugees Tarasiuk and his family are spending Ukrainian Independence Day hundreds of miles away from their former home in Durham.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A painting created by Ukrainian refugee Anatolii Tarasiuk represents the rise of new hope out of dark times. Its deep, dark reds and blues on the canvas give way to a brighter splash of white, sky blue and yellow.

Tarasiuk and his family are spending Ukrainian Independence Day hundreds of miles away from their former home, now in a temporary house provided to them by Catch the Fire Church in Durham.

He is a professional painter and wishes to sell his paintings to make income.

About a month after fleeing Ukraine, Tarasiuk and his family face new challenges as they still await to receive full refugee benefits. They remain in need of food stamps, and health insurance.

He said a permanent home as well as a family-sized car, are near the top of the list of their needs as their temporary housing through the church will soon end.

Tarasiuk was also diagnosed with cancer and will require around six months of treatment. He is being treated at Duke Hospital, and due to his illness, he may not be able to work which will make finding a location to rent difficult.

"I feel really blessed to be able to go to Duke's hospital," Tarasiuk said. "And doctors, they're really friendly there and really helping a lot, and doing it as a charity case which is unbelievable."

Despite the difficulties Tarasiuk and his family face and the war that continues to rage in their home county, he remains hopeful for an end to the war.

"It's impossible to go through these things without hope for the future, for help from above, help from others. You always have to have a hope for the future, right?" Tarasiuk said.