In mid-October Southampton Solent Rotary received an email from one of the
Southampton Hosts who, due to the war, has welcomed a Ukrainian mother and her two
children into her home as part of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.
A important factor, and a worry for displaced Ukrainian parents, is that their children would be missing out on Ukrainian education teaching them the language and culture of their home country. With this in mind the Hosts and Ukrainian parents have set up a Ukrainian Language Club at Shirley and Freemantle Community Centre. The Centre has funded the use of the hall until Christmas – then they will have to pay £15 per hour for its use.
Due to little funding, basic items such as pens, pencils, colouring crayons, and paper couldn't be purchased. Southampton Solent Rotary were approached to see if we could help.
At our recent Rotary Business meeting in October, it was agreed that we would support this – initially by providing the requested stationery. One issue is to get Ukrainian Literacy resources into England - one of the mothers has recently returned from Ukraine so she is researching how this could be achieved. We have also put the group in touch with a local toy library – so the group and individual families can have access to good quality toys on loan.
We also had the privilege of visiting the Ukrainian classes – meeting the mothers and children. We were very impressed with the quality of the teaching due to some of the mothers having teaching backgrounds - the children were obviously enjoying the class.
The children enjoying the new stationery.
The stationery we donated
We have also agreed to fund a Christmas party for the children. This will allow the children to celebrate Christmas as they would in their homeland of Ukraine. The mothers are already enthusiastically discussing the catering – making traditional Ukrainian cakes and organising traditional games.
Another example of Rotary in Action!
Lorraine Pugh - Youth Action Group Lead