On the day the struggle in Ukraine started, Ann Kucheriava, her husband and three youngsters had been away from their dwelling in Dnipro. That they had no concept that they’d not come dwelling once more.
“We did not have issues. We do not have garments as a result of we’re solely going to the mountains. We solely assume for one week, however we by no means come again,” stated Kucheriava.
They stayed within the Czech Republic for 3 months earlier than coming to Calgary in June 2022. They did not know anybody.
Shortly after they arrived, Kucheriava’s daughter got here dwelling with a observe from a mom named Tammy who lived close by who wished to assist.
“She began serving to us. She begins with every thing mandatory for a brand new household right here,” stated Kucheriava.
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Kucheriava and Tammy Brigidear have been associates ever since. Brigidear has discovered that there’s a lot of help you can provide, even in case you are able to host a household.
“It looks like there’s nonetheless such an enormous want, so I am going to simply hold serving to till there isn’t any longer a necessity.
“There have been some households who got here with completely nothing. They sleep on the ground,” Brigidear stated.
She was capable of accumulate donations and assist with paperwork and administration. Brigidear makes use of her connections to assist newcomers navigate new environments and has helped host gatherings that deliver Ukrainians and Canadians collectively on the Lakeview Neighborhood Affiliation.
“One thing that appears comparatively small on our finish can have a large impression, so now they will have a little bit of a operating probability to make it,” Brigidear stated.
Kucheriava stated the help she acquired from Brigidear and her household and others in Lakeview was an enormous assist. Her English improved a lot that she acquired a job at a registry workplace serving to different new arrivals get their paperwork.
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“I really like my job. I clarify the foundations. Many individuals do not even perceive find out how to write ‘Calgary’. I really feel helpful now,” stated Kucheriava.
Brigidear and her husband John have now helped greater than 30 households and so they haven’t any plans to cease. She stated it was a variety of work, however rewarding.
“It is going to be life-changing,” Brigidear stated. “I believe it will likely be a lifelong lesson for my youngsters to see the ripple results of being type and compassionate and I believe lifelong associates. That is the silver lining of every thing. I’ve had a chance to fulfill all these fantastic folks. met who wouldn’t have crossed my path in any other case,” stated Brigidear.
Kucheriava stated she is fearful about her mom again in Dnipro, however understanding her youngsters are secure and surrounded by help makes all of the distinction.
“We take into consideration (how) this yr has modified everybody’s lives, however we’re glad right here now with Tammy, my Ukrainian household right here,” Kucheriava stated.
Between March 17, 2022 and March 2, 2023, greater than 903,000 purposes had been obtained by way of the Canada-Ukraine Emergency Journey Authorization (CUAET), which permits Ukrainian residents and their members of the family to use for a brief resident visa to journey to and keep briefly in Canada. Practically 600,000 purposes had been authorized.
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