Though Cherkas and her family have had trouble settling in the villages, others say they have been welcomed by the people in Kyiv – although the government does nothing to assist them.
One is Olga Todorova, a graphic designer and volunteer from Stakhanov, in the Luhansk Oblast, which is controlled by the separatists. She said that since arriving in Kyiv, she and her family "have met kind people who helped us," although the government "less so."
"Our position is this," she wrote: "if you can't help, at least don't hinder."
"When you see total lawlessness and chaos, you don't simply leave – you run," she expressed. "The very beginning is the most difficult, the adaptation. When you think of what you had and what you left behind."
"Over there, we were 'Ukry,' betrayers who left Luhansk to go to Ukraine. But we were luckier than most. I know seven people who were killed because of their pro-Ukrainian position. This is horrifying."
Anzhelika Ostapenko, a pharmacist also from Luhansk, wrote about the fear of living and working in the middle of conflict, like a bomb that hit a nearby government building while she was working.
"At night I would come to my window, look at all these people with machine guns and realize – this is it, it cannot continue like this any longer."
"When people shoot near your windows and your child starts trembling with fear, the only thing you can think of is how to save your family," she wrote. "So we packed our children's stuff, got on the train and left."
She noted that people in Kyiv have accepted them very well, but other people have stayed behind in the east, either because of commitments or circumstances.
One is her mother: "she says that relocating at her age is like uprooting an old tree." But for Ostapenko, "home is where my children are."
"The only thing I ask now is to have the opportunity to earn money so that we can get a mortgage at normal interest rates," she wrote. "The rest will follow. Everything else will mend in time."
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
In the meantime, one young mother, Elena Lusenko, wrote as if speaking a word of encouragement to her young son: "You will have a wonderful and a very happy life."
"You will never be an internally displaced person because it is impossible to lose what you have inside your heart. The most important thing is that we are together, where we are truly happy."
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.