Ukrainian Oksana lives with Heerhugowaard’s family: “Feels very natural”

Ukrainian Oksana Monashova has lived with the De Jong family for two months on a spacious farm in Heerhugowaard. The family decides to open their house following a nationwide appeal to house someone from Ukraine. “I presented it to the kids during dinner,” Sandra de Jong tells NH Nieuws. “If the man is needed, I will do my part.”

Frank, Oksana and Sandra – NH Nieuws / Aline Bleeker

Oksana (affectionately known as Oksi), Frank and Sandra talk about their last two months in a sunny garden. Oksi, who comes from the Ukrainian capital Kiev, decided after a long hesitation to leave the war in his country. Through a friend, she eventually ended up with Frank and Sandra and their three children of 13, 11 and 9 years.

For Sandra, it used to be customary to have people at home. She grew up on a farm and in her youth there were always interns, contractors and children who had a hard time. Sandra: “We shared in our network that we would be open to receiving someone from Ukraine, and that’s how the ball started rolling.”

As a matter of course

Then they set about creating the best possible stay. A room – formerly a playroom for children – has been prepared for Oksi by the whole family.

“Everything a woman needs can be found there; I lack nothing,” the Ukrainian says gratefully. She has a place to retire and shares the kitchen and bathroom with the family. “Of course, it took a little getting used to suddenly living in Heerhugowaard, but it quickly felt very natural,” says Oksi.

“I do not have to ask the kids if they like it, if Oksi comes along, it feels very natural”

Sandra the young

She continues: “Like many Ukrainians, I was forced to flee because of the war. It was a very difficult decision. I was also afraid of the unknown. Of course I have my own family at home and thought a lot about whether children of Frank and Sandra would accept me too. ”

And accept, they do, says Sandra: “A few weeks ago we were all at the cheese museum in Alkmaar for a day. We also went to the beach together. I do not have to ask the children if they like it when Oksi comes with, it feels very natural. “

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Oksana, Frank and the children on the terrace – The De Jong family

The daughter Isabel also likes to paint with her new roommate and they talk about ballet together. “I feel very happy in this family. The kids have a lot of knowledge and I think it’s great to see how everyone interacts with each other. Full of love and mutual respect.”

In her mind, Oksi is preoccupied with the war in her home country – and with her parents and sisters who still live in Ukraine. “I would rather not watch the news because I can not influence the situation anyway,” she says.

No war over dinner

It’s therefore a bit about the De Jong family: “Of course we sometimes talk about it when the situation changes or it’s in the news,” says Sandra. “But we know Oksi is already working a lot on it during the day and trying to talk about other things together.”

The Ukrainian likes it: “They try really hard to make sure I do not think about it all the time. It does not help me if we also talk about it during dinner at night.”

“We would like to go home, but we will stay here for a while. Then it is important to learn the language”

Oksana Monashova

Oksana, who was a project manager at a candy factory before coming to Holland, hopes to soon find a job that suits her. She knows that many other Ukrainians also want to, but that language is a barrier. “Anyone can do logistics work, but for people who do not speak English, it is difficult to start somewhere.”

She therefore hopes the government can do something about it: “I hope more free courses can be given for example. We would like to go home but we will stay here for a while. Then it is important to learn the language and act.”

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