Olga Kopach


For Olga Kopach from Ukraine, helping people coming from her homeland to Romania, is not a job, but a passion. It gives her a lot of fulfilment and satisfaction to lend a helping hand to her compatriots who flee the war. “Ukrainians who arrive here, don’t speak the language, so I want to help them. I do it with pleasure and I want to help as much people as I can.” 

“I grew up in the Cherkasy Oblast, which is a very central region in Ukraine. After I graduated a secondary school, I moved to the capital, Kiev, where I met my husband. We lived a very happy and carefree life until the war broke out 2 years ago. We came to Romania together with our three children. In Kiev, I worked as a florist in a flower shop. I loved my job. When I came to Cluj, I started working for a pharmacy. The only reason why I took the job back then, was to learn the language and integrate myself.”

Ukrainian newcomers

“We created a Telegram-group chat for Ukrainian people who come to or live in Cluj. My job, that I do on a voluntary basis, is to answer questions newcomers ask when they arrive here. For example, where to buy medication or find a doctor. A lot of people had to flee the war and violence, and I think it is very difficult for them to adapt to a new country in the beginning. I already have some experience in Cluj, so it is not hard for me to help them with basic information they need, because many things work in a different way in Romania.”

“I’ve been asked several times why I do what I do. I think, each of us have our own battle, and you just need to keep on fighting. I found that what I do is very rewarding. I feel needed when I help others. I want to help as much people  as I can.”

“For me home is a place, where my family is”

“Home for me is a place, where my family is. I went back to Ukraine for a short period of time alone. The house was empty and silent, because my family wasn’t with me. That’s when I realised, that home for me is a place, where people I love are near to me. 

Living in the moment

“Due to the war in Ukraine, I couldn’t go out there, so my freedom was limited.  I cannot be happy, when I don’t have freedom”

“The war taught me one important lesson: to live in the moment. I lost many things, and I don’t know what is going to happen in the future. This is why I started living in the moment. I enjoy every second of my life. This mindset really helped me a lot to feel better and also to integrate”.

By Dries Jacobs