Multiple programs with varying thresholds of eligibility mar attempts by many to gain visas
Nastia arrived at the Warsaw bus station late at night with nowhere to go. The 25-year-old had made the difficult decision to leave her home and family in Vinnytsia oblast in west-central Ukraine. Russian missiles had destroyed Vinnytsia’s airport, but her father could not leave because he is of fighting age, nor could her mother because she needed to care for Nastia’s two grandmothers, who are too sick to travel.
Now in Poland, terrified and unable to reach her mother, Nastia used Telegram to message someone who might be able to help: Caitlyn Simmons, a former Peace Corps volunteer who had been Nastia’s English teacher a decade earlier.