Sponsorship sought for two displaced Ukrainian university students

Posted June 4, 2022 at 8:47 pm by

Tiffany Till­man sends along a request for islanders to spon­sor two Ukrain­ian uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents who have been dis­placed by con­flict in their home coun­try. One fam­i­ly on the island gra­cious­ly agreed to spon­sor one of their fel­low stu­dents from Ukraine last week.

I’m writ­ing to the San Juan Island com­mu­ni­ty to see if we can locate a poten­tial spon­sor or spon­sors for two Ukrain­ian col­lege stu­dents, Lana and Kate, who have been dis­placed due to the ongo­ing war in Ukraine. They will have com­plet­ed their degrees in Trans­la­tion Stud­ies at the end of this month (yes, they con­tin­ued study­ing through bomb­ing, evac­u­a­tion and relo­ca­tion), and are cur­rent­ly locat­ed in a tem­po­rary liv­ing sit­u­a­tion in a ‘safer’ area but are in urgent need of relo­cat­ing to a tru­ly safe place.

I’m try­ing to con­nect them to a spon­sor or group/organization inter­est­ed in host­ing one or both of them through the U.S. pro­gram, Unit­ing for Ukraine.

I’m an Eng­lish Lan­guage Fel­low for the U.S. Depart­ment of State, and I’ve been work­ing with my host insti­tu­tion, Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrain­ian Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty, since Sep­tem­ber 2021. This uni­ver­si­ty is locat­ed in Sievierodonet­sk, a city that has been a hotspot/conflict zone since 2014. I’m still in the process of work­ing with my host insti­tu­tion, but I’m reach­ing out to you and your team as a pri­vate U.S. cit­i­zen, look­ing to help these stu­dents in any way we can. I’m on island until I’m sent out on my next project in late August.

Last week, I sent out a sim­i­lar request through Spring Street Inter­na­tion­al School for one of my for­mer Ukrain­ian stu­dents, Anas­ta­sia (Ana). The response from the com­mu­ni­ty was over­whelm­ing, and I’m beyond amazed and grate­ful to say that Ana has found a kind, gen­er­ous, and warm Spring Street fam­i­ly who are in the process of host­ing her through this pro­gram. I men­tion this because Lana and Kate are friends of Ana’s and in the same cohort at uni­ver­si­ty. It would be won­der­ful if we could locate a host or hosts for Lana and Kate on island so that they could have the com­fort of famil­iar­i­ty in what is oth­er­wise a com­plete­ly unfa­mil­iar situation.

I’ve asked Lana and Kate to write a bit about them­selves and I’ve includ­ed their respons­es below, copied and past­ed from our texts.

Lana

My name’s Lana, I’m 21 years old and I’m from Ukraine (Luhan­sk region). I have lived for four years in the occu­pied ter­ri­to­ries because I did­n’t have a chance to move some­where since the war had begun in 2014. Then in 2018 I moved to Sievierodonet­sk as I entered the Uni­ver­si­ty but, unfor­tu­nate­ly, after almost four years of amaz­ing life of my own I had to move again because of the Russ­ian war actions. For now I live in my friend’s house in the west­ern part of Ukraine and kind of feel safe. But some­times I think that it’s so unfair that I always need to escape some­where and now I need to do it again.

How­ev­er, I’m respon­si­ble, open-mind­ed, and quite inde­pen­dent, but not very talk­a­tive and shy per­son; but I want to trav­el and meet new peo­ple and get more knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence. My major is philol­o­gy and trans­la­tion and I’ve also been a teacher/tutor of Eng­lish for teens for two years now.

Don’t know what else to add but I’d be real­ly grate­ful for the giv­en help in such dif­fi­cult times for Ukraine.

Kate

My full name is Katery­na Bublii. I am 21 years old, and this year I will fin­ish my stud­ies at the uni­ver­si­ty and receive a bach­e­lor’s degree. My major is philol­o­gy and trans­la­tion. I lived in the east of Ukraine, in the Luhan­sk region. How­ev­er, the Russ­ian inva­sion of Ukraine has changed the life of my fam­i­ly. After spend­ing the first three weeks of the war in the base­ment escap­ing the bombs, my fam­i­ly made the deci­sion to evac­u­ate me. So now my fam­i­ly is com­plete­ly sep­a­rat­ed. I live in the west­ern part of Ukraine, my dad is in the cen­tral part, and my mom is in the north­east. Now I have no oppor­tu­ni­ty to return home, as my city has been occupied.

Talk­ing about my per­son­al qual­i­ties, I’m most­ly an intro­vert, and it’s stress­ful for me to meet new peo­ple, but I’m try­ing to get rid of this char­ac­ter trait. Despite my intro­ver­sion, I am a respon­sive, respon­si­ble per­son and ready to help if my help is needed.

I have lit­tle work expe­ri­ence. I worked for two months as a wait­ress in a hotel restau­rant in Bul­gar­ia and received pos­i­tive rec­om­men­da­tions. How­ev­er, the main area in which I would like to real­ize myself is teach­ing Eng­lish. My main goal is learn­ing Eng­lish and teach­ing meth­ods. At the moment I have lit­tle speak­ing prac­tice, so com­mu­ni­ca­tion may be dif­fi­cult for the first time. How­ev­er, I hope that this expe­ri­ence will help me to speak Eng­lish con­fi­dent­ly and improve my lev­el so that I can return to Ukraine and be able to help chil­dren and teenagers to learn English.

Can you help?

Please share this with whomev­er you feel might be able to spread the word and find hosts for these young Ukraini­ans. Please also feel free to con­tact me if you have any fur­ther ques­tion or need clar­i­fi­ca­tion. You can con­tact me at tiffantillman@gmail.com or 503–780-0187.

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