Ostrovok. School for Ukrainian Refugees

Dear friends!
My name is Pavel Kogan, I am a teacher and a US citizen, and I have been working in Bucharest since the beginning of the War to teach 264 Ukrainian children. After living and working in San Francisco for 21 years, I returned to my hometown in Ukraine in 2010 to chase my dream and founded an independent preschool and elementary school called Ostrovok (Little Island).  When the War started, we fled Ukraine and evacuated mothers, children, and teachers of our school and brought them to safety to Romania. With the unbelievable support and help of Romanian people, we managed to organize an educational child center for Ukrainian refugees just three days after our arrival. 

English teacher of Ostrovok Anastasiia Konovalova:

 ‘Two months ago I was sitting on the floor of a church somewhere near the border of Romania – crying as hard as I have ever cried in my entire life. Crying for my perfect life, now ended. For my son’s childhood, that was stolen. For my beloved Ukraine, that is being torn, raped, and bombed – for no reason.

Today, I am not crying anymore. I have a PLAN and even the greatest monster in the world cannot take it from me. Alongside the best team of amazing professionals, I am teaching 264 children in a free school for Ukrainian Refugees in Bucharest. We still have more than 500 students in the waiting list!

Every day our teachers face enormous difficulties. No one taught us how to deal with panic attacks during lessons. No one told us how to discuss life in basements. No one taught us how to council children over the deaths of neighbours or the fear of not seeing their fathers again. 5 year olds should never have to face these things.

But we are learning every day and becoming stronger. We do not cry any more. We work: for our children’s future. Ostrovok Primary School is asking for your help. We have started a Gofundme campaign to enable us make the school bigger and accept all the students from the waiting list. We want to pay salaries to our teachers who are working tirelessly to restore our students' childhoods. Most importantly, we need to have funds to start a new school when we are back in Ukraine. There is no other option for us then to go back and start our lives over. We know it will be hard. We are getting ready. We are collecting money for a school, so many Ukrainian children have lost already. To pay salaries, to get a building, to create the best educational opportunities for our kids.

Please help us take care of our children. I know we are not alone in this fight.’
You can follow the news about our Ostrovok School here: https://www.facebook.com/ostrovok.school



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Pavel Kogan
San Francisco, CA

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