A mother of 22 children about a large family and helping the country during the war
Iryna Serbina, a mother of 22 children and a volunteer, became the heroine of the last episode of the Call Sign Hope project about brave Ukrainian women on STB. In a frank interview with Nadiya Matveeva , she told us how her family has expanded, why there are no other people’s children, and what gives her strength to be a loving mother and a fearless woman who will not leave Ukrainians in trouble in hot spots.
Since she was young, Iryna, a mother of 22 children, and her husband worked in an orphanage. They became parents to 3 boys. Iryna’s friends brought her two children to stay with the family for a few days, but the children stayed for three years, and then for good, as the previous family was dysfunctional. At the age of 33, Iryna became a mother of 15 children! Their family was replenished with more and more children, giving them care and love.
“It was God’s decision and the way things worked out in our life that we had so many children. I felt the happiest. I don’t care what’s going on around me. I dissolved into the children, I got high every day. I have always wanted to raise children as individuals. No matter how difficult it was for me, my children were always shod, dressed and fed, – Iryna said. – I understand that if you have 2 or 5 children, you will give them more attention than 22. But we do not have a queue for these children now. I get energy from them. Yes, it can be difficult, especially when children get sick one after another. But I share their joy, achievements, and success with them. This is incomparable. The goal of my life was to create a family where children would constantly help each other. And it was successful.”
In addition to taking care of her huge family, she also volunteers and helps others. Her entire large and friendly family supports her in this. Children help and cook together to share food with those in need. Iryna and her crew deliver food to Donetsk and Kharkiv regions.
“My three sons have been serving and sitting in the trenches since the first day of the war. If my 25-year-old son can do it, how can I, a grown woman, stay at home? I can’t afford it,” the heroine of the issue explained her choice.
“We have a hotline that gets calls around the clock. The key word is “children” – then the team decides to go and rescue them, wherever they are,” the woman said. – I remember the first days of evacuating people from Izyum. I received a call about a girl with a man. The team enters the yard and finds the cellar already filled with rubble. There was a girl with a baby. She was chewing on potatoes and feeding the baby the juice from these potatoes.”
Iryna’s team has repeatedly rescued people from the hottest spots. The woman admits that she does not think about fear during the evacuation – there is no time for that.
“There are people who need to be taken away. That’s all. The realization comes in the evening when you get home. Then it can be different. But if you have a goal, you have to go for it. I really want my grandchildren to see their parents at home. I want my children to come home as soon as possible. And also my friends, acquaintances and relatives.” – Iryna shared.
Watch the full episode here . Watch Call Sign Nadiia every Sunday at 22:00 on STB.
Photo: press service