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A home for the Maiars

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In April of 2022, thousands of families were forced to leave their homes in Ukraine and seek safety. The Maiar family was no exception. Anton and Svitlana Maiar were living in their own home in Mariupol with their 2 sons; Adam and Samuil (ages 6 and 2) when the war broke out. But they had an added challenge. Anton and Svitlana are both Deaf and needed to rely on their friends and neighbors to get information about how to remain safe and eventually escape. For the nearly 40,000 Deaf in Ukraine, the challenges of the war have been unimaginable.

As many know, Mariupol was one of the earliest targets of the Russian occupation and many homes were destroyed there, thousands losing their lives in just days. The Maiar’s home was not spared. After enduring multiple missile attacks in and around their home that eventually reduced their living quarters to a single room; without heat or power they had no choice but to evacuate about a month after the war began. Like many, they carried their children through the streets of Mariupol hoping to find an evacuation bus , which they did.
This bus took them to Russia, and eventually they were relocated to a refugee camp in Hamburg, Germany. The language challenges there were immense and access to services for the Deaf were limited. They reached out to Rochester, NY for help. On March 9, 2023 the Maiar family, through the help of generous individuals and organizations, made their way to Rochester. They had heard that this was a city where Deafness was celebrated as a culture and they could start a new life . (And yes, Ukrainian Sign Language is quite different, so they are now learning American Sign Language.)

The Maiar family has already overcome insurmountable odds. They are currently staying with a host family in Pittsford. Anton is now employed full-time in construction; the boys are in school learning English, and Svitlana is keeping things together at home while she takes on side-jobs as a seamstress. They are working hard to save up money for a car and to pass their NYS driving test.

An amazing story of survival, resilience, hard work, and hope. They have been embraced by the Rochester community, and they are looking forward to putting down roots here. But there is still one great challenge. Housing. The Maiar family cannot find a place to live. It is very difficult to get approved for housing when you have no history, no credit, and no family. They would like to find a permanent community so that they don’t have to continue uprooting their children. While
they’re open to any of the wonderful communities around Rochester, they are hoping to settle in Henrietta, where they can be close to NTID, the Deaf church, Deaf community, and Anton’s current job.

Last week the Maiar’s had a unique opportunity to “see” and recover some items from their bombed Mariupol home. One of their Ukrainian Deaf friends, who is now living in Russia , was able to travel back to the Maiar’s home and send back pictures. The Maiars had hidden many of their valuable items in their root cellar, hoping that one day they might be able to recover them. Their friends spent hours removing rubble and searching through their destroyed and ransacked home. They eventually found their way to the root cellar, but discovered that most of the stored items were destroyed by moisture and other elements. But as these stories often go, there were some unexpected surprises. During a live video chat, Svitlana guided her best friend to specific places in her home to look for personal items. Amongst all the destruction, Svitlana’s friend was able to recover family pictures, a wedding album, and much to their surprise, a completely intact family Bible. Somehow, these items managed to escape the destruction and decay. It may be months before those things can make their way to America, but for the Maiars, it was confirmation that while their family would never be able to return to their home, God had made sure to preserve some items for their memories and their family history.

The Maiar family will begin looking for housing this week. If you know of a home or apartment in the Rochester area that would be open to renting to this family, please reach out. If you would like to support the Maiars' living expenses to get them off to a good start, you can donate here. All monies collected will be applied towards rent and/or utilities in their new home.
Spenden

Spenden 

  • Anonym
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonym
    • $20 
    • 1 yr
  • Jeff Azzolina
    • $25 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonym
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Laurie Bailey
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
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Cheryl McGee
Organisator
Pittsford, NY

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