SRAS stands with the Ukrainian people and all those in Russia and the world who condemn the current war against Ukraine. While this is a crisis for the world, it is first and foremost a tragedy for the Ukrainian people. While we cannot help every Ukrainian directly, we aim to do all we can to help our friends at NovaMova in Kyiv.
NovaMova is a small language school in Kyiv, founded by Gela Turabelidze and Andriy Kononenko in 2001. We have partnered with NovaMova since 2011. In addition to teaching Russian and Ukrainian languages, they teamed up with us to launch the Identity and Conflict in the Post-Soviet Space program. Many of you, students and educators alike, know Gela and Andriy. They share their country and region with passion and enthusiasm and for those of us who have had the privilege of getting to know them, they are like extended family. This is something that is very much the essence of the school, teachers and staff are passionate about what they do, everybody is family. We always know our students are in very capable hands there, and across all SRAS locations they come out on tops with student progress with the Russian language! Suffice it to say, the field NEEDS NovaMova to come back even stronger, and SRAS is committed to making that happen.
What Can We Do?
Molly Cain, our Director of Institutional Relations, fell in love with Ukraine. She visits at every opportunity and has made some incredible friends in the process, many she thinks of as family. Molly has just earned herself a new title of CFO (Chief Fundraising Officer) and will be heading up this campaign.
Phase One – Support the NovaMova Family
This is action we can take now to provide funds to help families with expenses they face during this period. We will coordinate with NovaMova to distribute this where it is needed most in a very large “family” in Ukraine that includes the many people who have hosted our students in their homes and communities and otherwise interacted with students. There will be multiple components to this phase:
GoFundMe: Support the NovaMova Family in Ukraine
Molly will provide updates directly on the GoFundMe platform. We are also adding some ways to thank donors for their support and generosity.
- Donate at least $100 and we will ship you a copy of the SRAS 25th Anniversary Commemorative Cookbook. Both Andriy and Gela contributed recipes to this book and beyond that, it is a celebration of exactly what NovaMova supports – building bridges and connecting cultures.
- Donate at least $25 and we will email you a pdf of Andriy’s mother’s recipe for Sour Cherry Varenyky. This is quintessential Ukraine, right up there with borsch.
Once you have contributed, simply forward the email confirmation of your contribution to email@example.com.
Individual/group actions. We invite and encourage all to create their own fundraiser. Molly’s husband, a chef, is doing a Ukrainian dinner event to raise funds. Molly is talking to her yoga studio about an event. My wheels are turning as well. These funds can either go via GoFundMe or you can send them directly to an account Molly has set up for this purpose.
Phase Two – Sign up for online classes!
NovaMova teachers continue their lessons (Ukrainian and Russian) online with current students. Of course we are all apprehensive about things like internet stability at present, but as soon as the situation stabilizes we will activate more classes for Ukrainian – via English or via Russian. A few of you interested? Form a small group and sign up! Are you a university looking to add a Ukrainian course – why not do it online with our friends at NovaMova?
Phase Three – Study abroad
While we would love to bring students back to Kyiv for this summer, we do not know yet what will be possible, to say nothing of what home institutions or funding sources may approve. For that reason, NovaMova will activate their Batumi, Georgia location for summer 2022. Many of their teachers and staff will relocate to Batumi to share with you their fantastic teaching skills. This program option is already open on our site and you can sign up for anything from 4-10 weeks.