Anna Keller came to Telšiai in Lithuania from Boryspil town in the Kyivan region. Her husband is originally from Lithuania, so this defined their direction. They moved here with a daughter and a daughter-in-law. Their son is defending Ukraine serving as a volunteer in the Armed Forces. In this war, he was wounded three times. Prior to that, he worked at a Boryspil plant that manufactures buses.

Anna Keller has dedicated her time to psychological counseling of Ukrainian refugees. No one in Europe was ready for the full-scale war. And she is not an exception.

“Here I realized that despite all of my diplomas and certificates, I do not have any specialization for working with post-traumatic stress disorder cases under wartime conditions. Then I went and completed the required courses... Indeed, there are specifics of how to work with such people”, said Anna.

In her practice, she met Ukrainians who survived the Russian filtration camps, which are similar to what Nazis did in World War II.

“I remember one very difficult case, when a man from Mariupol, who went through this hell, lost a lot, and he came to me for counseling, he was in a very deep depression. This is very hard work”, Anna told us.

When it comes to the adaptation of Ukrainians in Europe, they experience difficulties in adapting to foreign societies. They feel lost. It is difficult for them to find work in their profession as they don’t know foreign languages, which causes depression:

“Many people have to redefine themselves, go to jobs they don't know, don't like, don't know how to do, they have to learn. These are physically difficult jobs, then health problems start, some have problems with their hands, some have allergies, some have problems with backs, some have health problems.”

Ukrainian children experience other problems regarding socialization. They are mostly not accepted by their peers.

“They all (European children) hear from the locals about Ukraine, war, Putin, victory and so on. And at first there is a great interest. They communicate through Google Translate, and then they get tired of communicating like this. And then our children in all European countries are left out”, said Anna.

She believes there should be more programs for the integration of Ukrainians in Western countries.

This publication has been produced with the financial support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the coordinators of this project and do not necessarily reflect the views or the policies of the Nordic Council of Ministers.