2017 marks Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) 50th anniversary. A lot of events will be held at the end of August in Lviv Polytechnic because it is probably the only Ukrainian university that has hosted various UWC projects for many years.
But for Lviv Polytechnic team, we would have achieved little
To mark UWC 50th anniversary, an International committee has been set. It includes representatives from different countries – Iryna Mytsak from Canada, Stefan Romaniv from Australia, Volodymyr Zrytskiy from the USA, Oksana Wynnycka (Chair of UWC International Educational Coordinating Council) and Iryna Klyuchkovska from Ukraine.
We are speaking with Iryna Klyuchkovska and Andriy Yatsiv, her deputy, about the way International Institute of Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations is getting ready for this important event.
– Iryna Mykhailivna, it was your team that attracted our compatriots’ attention to the Ukrainians living abroad and made a lot of efforts to co-operate with them on the state level…
– It is true, but we would have failed, if Professor Yuriy Bobalo, University Rector, and Lviv Polytechnic team had not supported us. Due to Rector’s permission and support, big and serious congresses with participants from 30 countries, dozens (if not hundreds) of presentations of individuals and organizations were held in Polytechnic. I have been dealing with the issues of diaspora for a long time, so I can say for certain that there is no other university in Ukraine which co-operates so systematically with world Ukrainian community. That is why, it is logical that great events in August will be held in Lviv Polytechnic. Apart from us, this event will be marked all over the world (on February 26, a big conference in Toronto officially opened the year of UWC). Such conferences will be held on many continents: in Australia, South America, in Europe (by the way, UWC Office was has been opened in Brussels this year).
Celebrations in Ukraine will begin on August 26 in Kyiv, and on August 27–30 – in Lviv. We have already had negotiations with the representatives of municipal and regional authorities, with Archbishop Ihor Voznyak, with Andrei Sheptytskiy Lviv National Museum Director. Lviv regional state administration has also set up an organizing committee responsible for the events in Lviv (official opening near the monument to Andrei Sheptytskiy, Service in St.Yura’s Church, European Conference in Lviv Polytechnic, concert in Lviv Opera House, opening of the exhibition in the National Museum, etc.). With the support of Roman Nazarovets, Director of «Shevchenkivskiy Hai» Museum of folk architecture and life, we are completing the Garden of world Ukrainian community, which was planted in 2008. Fortunately, all trees took root and started to bear fruit.
Polytechnic is in the centre of events
– Our institute could not stay aside from this momentous event. Several our projects start on March 29, – Andriy Yatsiv, Project manger, says. – The first event, in which students of the Department of Journalism of Lviv Polytechnic have taken part, is a presentation of the project entitled «Young people about UWC». Those, who will attend it, will have chance to get familiar with thematic videos about UWC, its history, fields of work, outstanding figures, who created this institution. We have already started with the project entitled «Outstanding figures’ quotes about UWC and WCFU work». So far, more than 150 quotes have been collected from modern political and public figures, Ukrainian and world spiritual leaders. We keep on collecting materials on UWC history, which has a great impact on the history of Ukraine. We publish them every day in social networks and on our website. The third project, which is to begin soon, is an exhibition on UWC work and history. It has been organized as a traveling exhibition. And we would like to present it to as many students in Ukraine as possible. Lviv students will be the first ones to see it. Then it will travel to Central and Eastern Ukraine – to Kyiv, Dnipro, Starobilsk, Kherson, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Odesa.
Even in Lviv people know little about UWC
– Despite the fact that many Ukrainians from Western Ukraine have emigrated and are emigrating to seek better life, even citizens of Lviv know little about UWC. So what can be said about Eastern or Southern Ukraine, – Iryna Mykhailivna adds. – In my opinion, people should know the abbreviation of UWC like they know UN. With the help of our educational events, we aim to reach young people, spread information not only about UWC. We want to show that with the support of University administration such educational work can be done everywhere. By the way, Hennadiy Udovenko wrote in 2006 in the resolution of our conference, «IIEC branches should be created in the cities of Eastern Ukraine – Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv». I am sure that we have a lot of problems because of our ignorance. If schoolchildren learned about the role of diaspora in establishing Ukraine as an independent state, about our «people’s diplomats» in the world, if this knowledge was promoted in higher educational institutions, a lot of things in our life would be different.