Poway woman helps her family resettle in Prague after fleeing Ukraine

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) — A Poway woman has just returned to San Diego after spending about two weeks helping her mother, grandmother and younger sister after fleeing war in Ukraine.

Archangel Katya’s family moved to Prague temporarily, after being taken to the border by a stranger, and also received help from friends and strangers of Katya who donated through a GoFundMe account.

“My family was very happy to have me there, they said they could finally relax,” said Katya Archangel. “My mission was to help my family, to give them emotional and financial support, to help them settle in the Czech Republic.”

She showed us pictures of a convention center open 24 hours a day to receive Ukrainian refugees.

“I found them a place to stay at least temporarily, I got them medical insurance, I registered them for a refugee visa in the Czech Republic,” she said.

His mother Tetiana Arkhanhelska spoke to ABC 10News via Zoom from Prague on Thursday.

“We’re fine, we’re in a safe place,” she said. They are staying in a temporary rental but said it was difficult to find more permanent accommodation
stay due to high demand.

“We called a few real estate agents and they told us to stop calling us because they get 200 calls from Ukrainians every day and we don’t have many apartments,” she explained.

Unfortunately, Arkhanhelska also had to leave her husband in Ukraine.

“My mother didn’t want to leave her husband behind, she still held out hope that it would end in a few days,” Archangel said. “He drove them to the Moldovan border and he had to go back, he tried to leave the border but he was not allowed because he is 57 years old and men under 60 are not allowed to leave.”

Hearing that the United States will increase humanitarian assistance to war-affected people, and allow 100,000 Ukrainian refugees to enter the United States, brings some hope but also more questions for this family.

“I would like to, yes definitely, but it all depends on the details of the program, my grandmother does not have a passport, she only has a Ukrainian identity card, plus the financial aid, if she is available, that would definitely be a motivating factor for my family to come here,” Archangel said.

Although uncertainty remains, the family say they are so grateful for the kindness of strangers.

“I am so grateful, my heart is so full,” Archangel said. “Without the volunteers, without the kindness and generosity of simple civilians who want to help, who want to do something, without that, I don’t know what people would do.”

The Archangel has set up this GoFundMe for those who want to help.

Berta D. Wells