A Ukrainian refugee who was given a temporary home in Llangrannog on arriving in Wales took centre stage at the St David’s Day celebrations at the Senedd.

Khrystyna Makar, who is an international opera singer, arrived at Urdd camp with her family last year, under the Welsh government's super-sponsor scheme.

A soprano who has performed in opera houses in Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam and many other cities, she now sings in her flat, but wants to restart her musical career. 

She has also performed at the Tregaron National Eisteddfod and fundraising events, where she often sings a song in Welsh. 

"It's very interesting to learn Welsh songs", she said. "It's my way to say thank you to Welsh people for the support." 

After leaving her husband and parents in Lviv, western Ukraine, she and her sons, Denys, 17, and Lukian, 12, have settled into life in Wales and now live in Aberystwyth.

"We live in Wales now, but our souls are in Ukraine," she said.

"Our Ukrainian souls never died, and Ukrainian souls never cry. The most important support for our country is to keep the contact and keep strong."

Last week Ceredigion MS Elin Jones welcomed refugees living in the county to Cardiff to be part of the proceedings to celebrate the life of the Welsh patron saint.  

She said she was delighted that refugees from both Syria and Ukraine, all of whom who have been welcomed in Ceredigion, were able to be part of the event.

Ghofran Hamza, Latifa Najjar and Batool Abid Raza from Syria and the Middle East, along with Krystyna Makar from Ukraine, spoke of their experiences of moving to Wales.

Elin Jones MS said: “It was such a pleasure and an honour to hear Khrystyna Makar, an opera singer who fled from Ukraine to Wales, singing Anfonaf Angel in Welsh at the Senedd on Saint David’s Day.

"Khrystyna arrived at the Urdd in Llangrannog last year with her two sons, and she now lives in Aberystwyth. Her song was so poignant, given that her parents and husband are still in the Ukraine.

"I am so proud that Ceredigion, provides a safe haven for those escaping war, many of whom contribute greatly to our society and enrich our lives. Wales truly is a nation of sanctuary.”