The story of two Lidias sharing friendship and hot meals in the midst of the Ukraine crisis

As the full-scale conflict in Ukraine continues people are in huge need of food. World Vision, in partnership with the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) has opened the mobile kitchen program to provide the most vulnerable with hot meals.

A line of elderly people quickly appeared in front of the mobile kitchen waiting for the food distribution to start. Among them, it was impossible not to notice two women who were eagerly waiting for the kitchen to open. These were two Lidias.

“It has been the second war in my life. I am happy that we are now able to receive this help and feel that people care about us. The food was very tasty, we like it,” says Lidia Fedorivna, an 85-year-old pensioner.

The displaced register to avail of the hot meals program. One of the Lidias said the program is important because it brings people together.


The woman spent a month in her neighbor’s basement while her hometown Irpin, Kyiv region was under temporary occupation. Unfortunately, missiles damaged her house but even this did not make her leave the city.

“I survived the Second World War. I survived the famine, and I will survive this conflict as well. Feeling supported by your organization helps me a lot,” explains Lidia.

The people as they waited for the hot meals distribution.


Supported by donors ACTED Ukraine, USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), and the Ukraine Response Consortium, the project planned to distribute 26,000 hot meals to people in need.

“Providing hot meals to people makes them feel cared for and valued. The support not only helps them meet their basic needs, but also gives them a sense of comfort and security. It relieves stress and anxiety during this difficult time”, explains Blerina Lako, Chief of Party, BHA-funded project.

Providing hot meals to people makes them feel cared for and valued. The support not only helps them meet their basic needs, but also gives them a sense of comfort and security.

Lidia Fedorivna was waiting in line with her close friend Lidiya Mashkova. The women are neighbors and supported each other when the war started.

“It's not just about food. It helps me because I talk to people who also experience the fear of war. Here we can drink tea, eat, and discuss our pain. This is very helpful, I am very grateful,” tells 78-year-old Lidiya Mashkova.

Volunteers from the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) prepare the food for distribution.


Her house was damaged by a missile as well. Moreover, the woman was inside the building when this happened.

“How I'm still alive I don't know. I saw with my own eyes how the missile flew into my window. Then an explosion. I was holding my dog and crying. I was shocked. Fortunately, my neighbor saved me,” remembers Lidiya.

According to Lidiya she spends all her money on the restoration of the house. Therefore, the woman does not have enough money to buy food. Hot meals provided by World Vision and BWA are a big help for her.

A BWA cook shows the food they prepare for the displaced.


“I am very grateful for your support. The food is delicious and fresh. Thank you very much”, says Lidiya.

When the volunteers started distributing the food, the two Lidias took the boxes and sat down on a bench, discussing the plans for the day.

Story and photos by Oleksandra Shapkina, Communications Officer