At Moneytrans we have the pleasure of having colleagues from more than 42 countries to enrich us. Today we talk to two of them: Ilona (Ukraine) and Sofia (Russia). Both work as operators in one of our branches in Spain and their united voices are today not only an example of coexistence, but also a necessary message of solidarity in turbulent times between their countries of origin.
Meet Ilona, our Ukrainian colleague
Ilona Falendysh is one of our most recent additions to the Moneytrans family. She was born in Kamenets Podilskyi, western Ukraine, and after a holiday in Spain in 2006, she decided to start a new life with her twin sister in Spain. Today she lives in Malaga with her sister and mother, and we are lucky to have her in our branch assisting our clients.
As a Ukrainian and a migrant, we wanted to give Ilona the opportunity to talk about the crisis in her country and to share with the community a message of support. These are her words!
How do you feel about the situation in your country?
This situation is very difficult for me, it hurts me a lot because it is my country, my family, my friends, people I know live there. Every day I see the news, and I am very worried, I can’t believe that all this is happening to my country. Innocent people are dying, I could never imagine that in the 21st century there would be a war. The situation is very dangerous for my country. But we must do everything possible to protect our territory.
How have you been able to help your family since the beginning of this situation?
Yes, I have family in Ukraine. My father lives there, my grandfather, my aunts, my cousins with their families, my friends. I have a lot of family there. It is very difficult to help when you are far away, every day I call them, to ask how they are doing. We also send with my family a lot of help like food, medicine… My family lives in the west, now it is more or less calm there, but everybody is afraid, this situation is very difficult morally and we have to support them.
How can Spanish people help Ukrainian citizens? Do you know an NGO or association that could help?
Spanish people can help Ukrainian citizens by sending aid such as food, medicine, clothes. I know a Ukrainian association that helps our country a lot, sending everything that is needed. It is the Ukrainian association Maydan Malaga in Costa del Sol.
What would you say to the leaders of the countries that start these wars?
I would tell them that war is not the way to get things. That you can make agreements and live in peace. I would tell them to leave my country, because nobody wants war.
Do you have a message for the Ukrainian community?
I wish that this war will be over soon. I wish them a lot of courage, and I want to tell them that we are all with them. Ukraine has always been free and we will not give it to anyone.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself as a happy person, still working in Spain. And that everything will be fine with my country.
Meet Sofia, our Russian colleague
Like Ilona, Sofia also works helping our migrant clients to send money, open a Smile Account or solve their queries. Sofia was born in Siberia itself, in the city of Omsk, and in 1998 she decided to travel to Spain to live with her family, where she now sends a message of unity between the Russian and Ukrainian communities in Spain!
How do you live the situation of the war between Russia and Ukraine?
Very sad and very worried, it is a situation that I find hard to understand. I have many Ukrainian friends and acquaintances, my work colleague is Ukrainian. Although no one has directly blamed me for my nationality, I feel shame and pain inside for all that this situation has created.
What would you say to the leaders of the countries that start these conflicts?
I would say the same thing as my friends who are in Russia, they are mobilizing and demonstrating against the war in Ukraine: Stop, No War! It is unbelievable that in the 21st century there is war, it seems that we have not learned anything. We must solve serious problems through dialogue, not through weapons.
A message to the Ukrainian and Russian communities in Spain?
I am Russian, but part of my family is Ukrainian, so for me it is difficult to distinguish between these two nationalities. We are “brotherly” countries with many things in common, in fact in Spain we share many habits, we go to the same church, we understand the same jokes, we listen to the same songs and watch the same movies. We are on the same “wave”, I would like it to stay that way.
Would you say that the humanitarian support this situation has given a sense of hope for humanity?
When the whole world comes together in critical moments like this, it gives us hope that all is not lost.