After fleeing attacks, woman helping Ukrainians settle in Calgary

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‘I used to be fortunate, I am doing nice and now I am hoping to assist extra folks’

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Kateryna Zarvii joined an enormous exodus from her war-ravaged Ukrainian homeland to settle in Calgary.

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Now, she’s decided to assist others following in her footsteps to settle in a rustic adamantly beneficial by an uncle.

“He stated, ‘You need to go to Canada.’ He gave it very excessive reward,” stated Zarvii, who got here to Calgary in Might after first arriving in Winnipeg following the Russian invasion in late February.

“I used to be fortunate; I’m doing nice and now I’m hoping to assist extra folks.”

Zarvii hailed from town of Kremenchuk, which has been the goal of a number of Russian missile assaults — together with one on June 27 that struck a shopping center, killing about 20 folks.

In a go to to her uncle’s hometown of Dnipro shortly after the invasion, a missile struck a couple of kilometre away — additional impetus to come back to Canada.

“It was very scary … I got here right here for a chance to have a greater future,” stated Zarvii, noting the Russians are more and more focusing on civilians removed from the battlefronts.

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“It’s not nearly (the Russians successful) territory, it’s about genocide — within the final two weeks, you possibly can see a number of escalation.”

After arriving in Calgary, she volunteered with a bunch known as the Calgary Ukrainian Evacuee Welcoming Committee the place she assisted in English instruction for refugees.

The only, 26-year-old landed a rental residence within the metropolis’s southeast and on Monday started working on the Centre for Newcomers, the place she’ll assist settle Ukrainians fleeing the warfare.

“They have been on the lookout for individuals who converse Ukrainian to assist Ukrainians,” stated Zarvii.

“I’ll be assessing what sort of assist they want.”

The assistance most wanted is discovering houses for newcomers in a metropolis with a low emptiness fee and the place rents in latest months have elevated by about eight per cent over final yr.

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“Ukrainian folks actually wrestle with lodging, even folks with cash, as a result of it’s tremendous costly,” stated Zarvii.

“There might need to some encouragement for folks to go to smaller cities.”

Calgary has turn out to be a lightning rod for Ukrainian settlement through the almost five-month-old warfare, rating third amongst main Canadian cities with 4,300 folks arriving right here as of July 5, stated Inna Platonova, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’ Calgary department.

However there’s a worry Canadians and people in different international locations are shedding curiosity in a warfare that appears to pull on indefinitely, she stated.

“Fatigue is there and the warfare shouldn’t be over — in truth, the terrorist assaults on civilians and casualties are solely growing,” stated Platonova, echoing issues over housing availability.

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“We’d like extra help to assist these folks in Calgary and Alberta.”

FILE PHOTO: Inna Platonova, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Calgary Branch, joins members of the Ukrainian community for a flag rising ceremony outside the McDougall Centre. Friday, February 25, 2022.
FILE PHOTO: Inna Platonova, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Calgary Department, joins members of the Ukrainian group for a flag rising ceremony exterior the McDougall Centre. Friday, February 25, 2022. Brendan Miller/Postmedia

The Alberta authorities has lately prolonged monetary help for Ukrainian newcomers and for his or her baby care wants.

Essentially the most rapid problem is offering non permanent housing for arrivals, stated Fariborz Birjandian, CEO of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society.

Assembly these wants are 74 host households, whereas his company is utilizing Airbnbs and a resort which is providing resort rooms for $50 an evening, he stated.

Extra authorities help seems to be on the best way, he added.

“We’ve been managing, to date so good … there’s a number of grassroots help occurring,” he stated.

“It’s going to stay a problem however I’m proud to say nobody has needed to go to a shelter or be exterior.”

And just like the Centre for Newcomers, Birjandian’s company has additionally employed latest Ukrainian arrivals to help their countrymen.

All of that and a usually optimistic and accepting outlook has made Zarvii a grateful latest newcomer.

“I like Canada — I’ve all the time wished to stay right here with out understanding it,” she stated.

BKaufmann@postmedia.com

Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

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