Our people are everywhere. LNTU Volunteers abroad
The strength of Ukraine lies in its people. We have been convinced of this more than once, and now, when Ukraine is burning in the fire of the enemy and defending its independence, we are once again convinced that thanks to the sincerity and devotion of our people, we will definitely win.
Today, hard work in the rear is one of the main factors in the approaching victory of Ukraine in the war with the aggressor country - Russia. Our people work as hard as they can and put their best efforts into volunteering. Many students and employees of LNTU are currently abroad, but even there they maintain a volunteer front to help their compatriots and their native state. You will not see all the LNTU students who are currently providing incredible support from abroad in this material. However, we send the most sincere words of gratitude to all of them! We appreciate everyone's help and are waiting for everyone at home, in their hometown and in the free country!
Read more about how Ukraine is supported in different parts of Europe, how our people help and how they volunteer abroad, and what they dream of after returning home!
Andrii Rymarchuk (Czech Republic), student of the Faculty of Computer and Information Technologies:
"At the moment, I am in the Czech Republic in the city of Zlin, studying under the student exchange program.
My colleagues from Ukraine, namely from Lutsk, join various volunteer actions. We help collect and sort essential items for Ukrainians affected by the war, many items refer to the military, namely: sleeping bags, products with a long shelf life and hygiene products, harnesses and medicines.
Personally, I regularly visit refugee centres and help with translations and coordination of the process so that Ukrainian refugees get all the necessary faster. We make the best conditions for these people.
Talking a lot with the residents of the Czech Republic, I can conclude that people meet and accept Ukrainian refugees with understanding and kindness.
The Czech Republic offers long-term asylum visas for Ukrainians with further free medical insurance and the opportunity to work in the territory of the Czech Republic. Banks offer one-time payments to new clients from Ukraine, as well as regular payments for people who have not yet managed to find a job.
After the war started, students from Ukraine arrive at my Czech University (since their universities were destroyed or are located in occupied regions) and join to support events and volunteer activities.
I believe and am sure that the Ukrainian people and our Armed Forces will win and everyone will be able to return to usual life. I wish it was as soon as possible!"
Yana Pomianovska (Lithuania), student of the Faculty of Digital, Educational and Social Technologies:
"Now I am in Kaunas, Lithuania in the framework of the project ESC (European solidarity corps) via the organization "Actio Catholica Patria". According to the terms of this program, I work in the private school "Herojus", and with the beginning of the war, this school opened a completely Ukrainian educational branch, which is free for our children and called "Glory to Heroes". Here I conducted English classes, as I am a future graduate of the Department of Foreign and Ukrainian Philology.
Mainly, my work now consists in helping the socialization of Ukrainian children who fled the war and their integration into Lithuanian society. In addition, I try to participate in charity events dedicated to helping Ukraine. Together with other volunteers, we organized a day of Ukrainian culture and prepared traditional Ukrainian dishes. Now, I am undergoing a period of adaptation in another country, but my organization has already offered me to join volunteer work related to the war and help our people.
Actually, when I came to Lithuania, there was already a war in Ukraine, so I did not take many things with me. From the very first days, I felt concerned about whether I had enough things to lead a normal life. However, my volunteer program covers all necessary expenses, it is also forbidden to participate in educational programs or work during this time.
There are also many Ukrainian colleagues here. Most of them really had a difficult fate, they left their homes under shelling, so the topic of war is difficult and close to them. Now we are more united than ever, but our main goal is to raise the consciousness of children so that in the future such a story will never happen again. My organization also has volunteers from Ukraine, with whom we organize various events.
After returning home, first, I dream of hugging all my loved ones. Then, of course, I will apply for a master's degree. In general, the time here forced us to rethink many things. I plan not to waste any minute of my life, to travel, to learn the languages of different countries. And I dream of peace."
Valentyna Tkachuk (Italy), Dean of the Faculty of Customs, Materials and Technologies:
"I am doing the program of international mobility of teachers as a visiting professor at the Polytechnic University of Bari (Italy). I applied for the competition when Polytechnic University of Bari announced it for 10 scientists from Ukraine. I was among them! This gives me an opportunity to work with Italian Higher Education Institution scientists on joint research for three months, in particular with the Department of Chemical Technologies. In addition, I have to conduct seminars for PhD students and lectures for students of higher education.
From the very first days, I was impressed with University laboratories and material equipment, and cooperation with the most powerful enterprises like Bosch, Energy Transition to the Future, Avio Aero and many others. This is a powerful centre of collaboration between science and business! There are over 10,000 students, mostly Italians.
While in Italy, we attend events in support of Ukraine. Of course, we participate in all fundraisers organized by our native LNTU. Italians are supportive of us, in every look - tears in the eyes, hugs, openness and anger from the fact that everyone is helpless against Russia and the war! We all have one most important value - human life, foreigners cry with us, and open their hearts and doors...
The mobility program in which I am participating was created especially for Ukrainian scientists in wartime conditions. We will conclude agreements on cooperation (whereas LNTU and the Polytechnic University of Bari were not partners before), plan the mobility of students and teachers and future international projects.
Our colleague Olena Kuzmak also submitted an application for the competition, so now two representatives of LNTU are here at once. In addition, there are scientists from Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Poltava. It is gratifying that we all communicate in our native language, support each other, and share ideas.
I've always loved travelling, but I couldn't even imagine that one day it would be possible to go everywhere, improve my language skills, expand my professional horizons, and at the same time I only want to go home to everything I love!! There is no better place on Earth than your own home, and this home is Ukraine! No matter how many problems we had in our past life (before the war), they were trifles and actually great happiness!!! I dream only of peace and victory!!!"
Olha Havryliuk (Poland), Associate Professor of the Department of Accounting and Audit:
"I decided to go abroad on the morning of the 24th. There were good reasons for that. I took my children, documents and some food. There was a complete misunderstanding of further actions. This is actually one of the scariest sensations in my entire conscious life. I was lucky and after more than two days on the road, my friends found the person who we live with. The Poles accepted us as family.
On the 27th, having recovered from the road, I realized that I must do the best I can. It was possible to place the children in school and vocational school. I already worked as a volunteer in the evening. I created the Helm-Ukraine group in the messenger and began to organize friends and acquaintances for mutual help. Subsequently, I signed an official cooperation agreement with the government's Local Headquarters for Helping Ukrainians in the city of Chelm.
Knowledge of languages became important here. A lot of aid is sent from the entire European Union, we have to communicate in English, Ukrainian, Polish, and I managed to remember a little German. I purposely do not speak Russian. It is worse for us with Spanish and Portuguese: mobile applications often fail with translation.
My responsibilities include two areas: segregation of charitable aid, and escorting and settling Ukrainians crossing the border. During the first month of work, there was not a single day off, now it became easier because the process has improved. The most difficult "processes" are at the station, because in the first days, an extremely large number of people arrived there. Most of them do not know where to go. They have nowhere to live and nothing to eat, many need psychological support, a place to live, and transportation. Actually, this is what we do. People are often extremely exhausted; the heaviest trains are from Zaporizhzhia... There were more than 20 people in the compartment. Many people cannot stand such a road, adults and even one little boy lost consciousness in my arms. It is difficult.
Hundreds of times I regretted that had not thoroughly studied the basics of first aid before the war. We have medical teams from France and Germany, and we learn French and German terminology in our free time to explain quickly a person's condition. Positive moment: a woman from Dnipro has gone into labour and we had taken her eldest daughter to our home. The newborn was named Ivan, and his sister Marichka lived with us until mom was discharged from the maternity ward. Now we have a friend-family in Dnipro)
The desire of the civilized world to help is impressive; we have many proposals from different countries for settlements for Ukrainians. Specialists from Israel have developed a special program for us, which allows us to verify persons who take refugees and thus avoid human trafficking. This is also important. It's nice when people who were in hell just yesterday send photos from the sunny sea coast and start to come back to life. Of course, such work exhausts, devastates, and often leaves a feeling of pain and fierce hate, because people carry with them the emotions of war. But who then, if not us? As for the dream, it is one for all - victory! And for everyone to be at home in Ukraine as soon as possible".
Tetiana Kradinova (Lithuania), Associate Professor of the Department of Physics and Higher Mathematics:
"Now I am in Vilnius with my children. It is a city-park, pine forests are everywhere. We walked into the old town, took photos of the children and noticed: it is impossible to force yourself to smile for the photo... the feeling of not being a tourist! You don't see the beauty of the city, the buildings, nothing captures you... People are actually very friendly here, mostly they treat each other well, and empathize. Here I completed an internship at Vilnius University at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics. The teachers with whom I communicate are very well-informed about the events in Ukraine. In general, now Lithuanians are also afraid of a Russian attack, but they believe in NATO. There are also colleagues from Ukraine at the University who are getting jobs. There are many Ukrainians in the city. There were 550 children in one school that accepts children for education (Lithuanian, Polish-Russian), and in February-March, more than 80 Ukrainian children were admitted. However, the training takes place in Russian.
I communicate with Ukrainians at the volunteer centre. Usually, people don't want to talk, it's difficult... But everyone wants to help in some way and everyone prays for peace... In Lutsk, my brother and his friends make bulletproof vests from leaf springs - we help both financially and by looking for fabric and other components, we also raised funds and found a necessary generator for the military. We do everything we can.
When I talk to students during classes, it turns out that we have the same dreams: to return to the classroom for classes, to hear the laughter of students during the break. I really want all my students to be alive..."
Olena Kuzmak (Italy), professor of the Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance:
"I am in Bari, Italy. The Polytechnic University of Bari announced a competition for the visiting professor program, I decided to try my luck, and submitted my CV, list of publications and a short description of the research project. After a certain period, a letter came that I passed the competitive selection. According to this program, professors from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Poltava, Sumy and we from Lutsk were selected.
Upon arrival, a meeting was held with the Rector, each visiting professor is assigned a tutor-professor who has close scientific publications, in order to carry out joint scientific activities. During our stay, we will conduct seminars. They agreed on the conclusion of a cooperation agreement, cooperation within Erasmus projects, exchange of experience in the field of education quality, and development of joint activities for improving the education quality system.
Italians are extremely supportive of Ukraine, although there is not enough information, we need more of it, especially from the mouths of Ukrainians directly, about the war in Ukraine, which inspires the most trust among Italians. We have found Ukrainians in Italy. We join activities in support of Ukraine, hold meetings, and participate in rallies in support of Ukraine. But I believe that what is most needed now is live communication. I am convinced that our work on the information campaign about the horrors of the war in Ukraine is of great importance.
I would like to sincerely thank the authorities and all employees of the Polytechnic University of Bari for the help and support of Ukraine, and for the opportunity to expand cooperation. I think that this cooperation will contribute to the development of LNTU and Ukraine. During the meetings, I heard one important thing: "Italians admire the courage of Ukrainians." There are still many plans, so we will try to implement them as much as possible. We took with us the flag, our pride, and the first thing we did: we went to Basilica San Nicola, where we prayed for peace in Ukraine."
Antonina Hordiichuk (Poland), Associate Professor of the Department of Economics:
"From April 1, 2022, my scientific internship began as part of the international grant program "Programme CEEPUS for Ukraine" on the basis of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (UMCS), located in the city of Lublin, at the Department of Economic and Regional Policy under the leadership of prof. dr hab. Andrzej Miszczuk.
CEEPUS is an abbreviated form for the Central European Exchange Program for University Research and is a multilateral university exchange program in the extended Danube region based on an international agreement. Currently, more than 15 countries have joined the current CEEPUS III agreement, and each member country has a national CEEPUS office.
The internship program is very interesting and scientifically rich. I am very grateful to everyone involved for this opportunity to learn from foreign teaching and research experience. Mostly, participation in the internship became possible thanks to the cooperation agreement signed in December 2021 between LNTU and UMCS, as well as the established contacts of the Department of Economics of our University with colleagues from the Institute of Economics and Finance of the Polish HEI.
During the meetings with the academic director, teachers and employees of the UMCS divisions, I heard sincere words of sympathy and support for our state, as well as faith in Ukraine's victory over the Rashists. Another important mission of my stay in Poland was the continuation of volunteer work, which I have been doing for a long time because I am the head of the public organization "VOO ANTARES". On a charitable basis, I am engaged in hippotherapy with children with Down syndrome and other socially vulnerable segments of the population who need this rehabilitation on horses. Teachers and students of our Department of Economics actively participate in our events together with the inclusive cafe "Stare Misto", where special children and teenagers work and where, at the moment, a large volunteer headquarters of humanitarian aid for the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Ukrainians affected by military actions is located . Together, we repeatedly acted as organizers of charity events and participated in events held by various volunteer organizations.
Today, volunteers are a reliable rear for our army and support for displaced persons. When the war began, millions of Ukrainians began to seek refuge abroad. The language barrier, as well as the lack of qualified translators and psychologists in European humanitarian centres for refugees, became a certain obstacle to adaptation. My familiar Polish volunteer colleagues invited me to help at one of these points, which is located in the small Polish border town of Zamość. Of course, I went.
It is not possible in one post to express all that was experienced during those first days... In the eyes of every Ukrainian who arrived at our point, there was despair, tears, pain...fear for the future. Huge thanks to Poland and the Polish people who rallied so quickly to help the Ukrainians. These are people with huge kind hearts and souls. They became more than a neighbouring people for us Ukrainians they became our relatives. I am sincerely grateful to the Polish volunteers Malgorzata Pintera, Kateryna Feliksiak, and Maria Garbuz, who help both with the search for housing for Ukrainians and with the search and transportation of vital humanitarian goods for Ukraine (food, medicine, personal hygiene products, animal feed, etc.).