Since February 2022, 107000 Ukrainian refugees have applied for temporary protection in the Slovak Republic and 154 Ukrainians have applied for asylum*. The Temporary Protection gives the refugees from the Ukraine access to Slovak healthcare system, education, accommodation, and access to the labour market.

Two Ukrainians live in our family house. Although my father Peter is a pensioner who was diagnosed with cancer (in 2021), he chose to support various Ukrainian refugees since the beginning of the war.

Olena and her 13-year old daughter Katja became our friends (today, Katja is already 14-years old). My father became a grandpa figure for Katja. She chose to call him ‘Dedusko Peter’, and my father enthusiastically accepted his new role.

Katja doesn’t have a biological grandfather anymore. The following content was written in English by Katja.


My grandfather’s name is Peter. He is 71 years old. Peter is Slovak. He became my grandfather 1.5 years ago. We live together in Slovakia. Grandfather has white hair and a white beard. He looks like Grandpa Frost (Дід Мороз). He also has a bigger belly because he likes to eat.

Grandfather often works in the garden. We live in the village of Chorvatsky Grob. We have a lot of fruits and vegetables in the garden. We also have 90 trees. Grandfather plants a lot every year. I like potatoes and grapes the most. Sometimes I help out in the garden.

My grandfather used to work as a teacher. He likes to teach new things. We often talk about mathematics and chemistry. Grandfather Peter loves to cook and has already tried 260 recipes. We cook mainly Slovak and Ukrainian dishes. We have already cooked borscht and varenyky. Grandfather is a widower because his wife Maria died four years ago. Our household consists of four people. We live with my mother Olena and my Slovak aunt.

We have a very good relationship. In the evening, I like to sit with my grandfather in the kitchen. He watches YouTube videos and I play games on my laptop. Sometimes I watch Eva give Muro some food. Muro is our cat. When he was little, my grandfather Peter found him in the vineyard. He brought him into the house and began to take care of him.

Grandpa always says what he thinks.

Ukrainian flowers in a Slovak garden

Ukrainian flowers Olena and Katja planted in the garden.

Ukrainian refugee child sewing

Katja asked Peter to teach her how to use his sewing machine.

(photos and text published with Olena’s permission, and everyone mentioned in the content was informed)
(*sources: DATA UNHCR ORG, January 2023, Ministry of the Interior/MINV SK, December 2022)


As a lover of the written word, Eva started to write diaries and poems early in life, and short stories after she moved to London.
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