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As an international service-learning volunteer organization, Global Service Corps has been serving disadvantaged people since 1993 . We are now serving Ukrainians through the GSC Ukraine Project.
Like probably you, we were appalled during the early days of the Russian invasion and decided to help Ukrainians and especially refugees deal with their war-induced trauma. Reaching out to Ukrainian NGOs, we learned refugees want help finding employment by improving their English to plan for the future, which would also benefit their mental health.
In April 2022, GSC launched an eight-week English-speaking club program with the assistance of our partner NGO TESOL-Ukraine, an international English training association. This program was very popular with US and Ukrainian facilitators and participants and was instrumental in building support, warmhearted friendships, and expanded community. We were greatly impressed with the friendliness, resilience and brave resistance of Ukrainians during these trying times.
We recognized that many more Ukrainians want to improve their English and need to know they are being supported. The English-speaking club program has expanded to include Conversation Clubs and Drop-in Cafes during various times and days of the week. Here is an interview of one of our outstanding Ukrainian student participants: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hFwQ5kd9VtFWmCCq3OM2WUzLOvLfOIOV/view?usp=drive_link
Your assistance has been greatly appreciated and has allowed us to accomplish the following:
• An eight-week conversational English pilot project in the summer of 2022
o In collaboration with TESOL-Ukraine http://www.tesol-ukraine.com/aboutus/
o Six separate groups of weekly sessions of facilitators and participants
o Provided over 260 total hours of English group conversation experiences
• Launching the Drop-in Café Conversation Clubs in the fall of 2022 Ihttps://www.globalservicecorps.org/3847-2/
o Three to five weekly conversation sessions of facilitators and other participants from September 2022 to the present, giving Ukrainians an opportunity to practice their conversational English
o Teams of two Ukrainian and two US English speaker co-facilitators for each session
o Provided 1341 total hours of English group conversation experiences as of November 22.
o Each weekly session now averaging 12 – 16 total participants with numbers growing (You are invited to drop in any time)
o November launch of an English conversation club specifically for students
• Hosting in Portland, OR the President and Vice-President of TESOL-Ukraine for a six-day visit
o Assisted in their attendance at the TESOL-International annual conference
o Arranged a public presentation on the war in Ukraine
• Production of Ukraine-US virtual concerts
o January 5, 2023 Holiday Concert
o February 25, 2023 “Together Invincible” Concert at the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion
o December 30, 2023 planned “Together Invincible” Holiday Concert (you will be invited)
• Creation of Drop-in Café Conversation Club Telegram channels
o Main Telegram channel for interested Ukrainians, now including 221 members https://t.me/dropincafeclub
o Three additional Telegram channels for program administration
• Production of several promotional videos
o One example: Introduction to the Drop-in Café Conversation Club program https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-bHZDC8rvM
• Hiring a Ukrainian Social Media and Administration Intern
o Fourth-year pre-law student at the Karazin Kharkiv National University
o Ten hours/week
• Providing tuition financial support for over 100 Ukrainians to receive a semester of one-on-one English tutoring
We look forward to expanding what has become a popular and meaningful program, especially to include more Ukrainian and US student participation through social media and other outreach. The accomplishments listed above have been achieved with a total pro bono administrative and volunteer facilitator staff (except for the recent hiring of our Ukrainian student intern.) Further administrative and staffing support is needed to build on our program expansion. We will continue to prioritize direct support to Ukrainians through all our programs. Your ongoing interest and support are much appreciated.