By Kim Passoth
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (KVVU) — One Ukrainian family who is starting a new life in Las Vegas in sharing their harrowing story of escape from their war-torn homeland. Everything they had ever known has been destroyed. They came to Southern Nevada with nothing, knowing no one.
“To live here is rather hard,” shared Nikita Goloborodko. “It is another country, another piece of world… but finally we decided because we have nothing in Ukraine, the war destroyed everything we have, the apartments, business, we have nothing, so we want to start a new life here,” Goloborodko added.
This is their hometown of Irpin, Ukraine is unlivable heavily damaged in the fighting.
“The first day of war the 24th of February, I take my family and we go to our to our grandmother and grandfather to village… This village is near the border… we were like in the epicenter of this war,” Goloborodko explained.
A picture of mom Natalie and baby Nicole sleeping in a cellar on a bed of potatoes shows how the family lived for 35 days: underground with no electricity and no water.
“In the night when they stopped shooting, we would go upstairs cook some food and go down… every day was like a last day,” Goloborodko contended.
When the opportunity to escape came, the family took it. A friend helped pay for travel.
Father, mother, and daughter came to the US through the Mexican border and Lighthouse Charities, a non-profit based in North Las Vegas who helps refugees rebuild their lives, stepped in.
“They gave us this apartment… they had sponsors who helped,” said Goloborodko.
With nothing to return to in their home country, the family will never go back. America and Las Vegas are their future.
“We had some restaurants, some cafes in Ukraine but they are destroyed so our big dream is to open our own restaurant like we had there in USA,” Goloborodko beamed.
Lighthouse Charities is looking for host families in Las Vegas to host Ukrainian refugees They are also taking donations for families, things like gas cards and grocery cards.
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