September 11, 2018
Kyiv-Mohyla Academy welcomes veterans to Public Management and Administration Program
Initiated just a few months ago by volunteers of the organization Razom, with veterans of the war who were in New York at the time, and with the cooperation of Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation, funds were raised to cover the tuition of four veterans to study at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
After the North-American tour of the documentary “Invisible Battalion”,discussions focused on Ukrainian veterans and their adaption to “normal” life after returning home from service. One of the most appealing ideas was to provide veterans with education in a professional field of their choice at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
A fundraising effort was organized, and the pilot project Veterans.edu raised $9,300 from donors from Ukraine and the United States, donated to the Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation of America. The amount raised will finance the upcoming academic year for four veterans, and includes small stipends to help cover living expenses.
“I truly believe that investment in education is a key to making the world a better place. Brave men and women who served our country deserve to get a chance for a good education in one of the best schools in Ukraine, and once educated, they for sure can lead changes in the country,” said Lyuba Shipovich while organizing the biggest fundraiser for the cause. Of all the veterans who applied, eleven were admitted to the university. Consequently, the Veterans.edu project committee had to make tough decisions to determine who would receive this year’s stipends. Interestingly, although every applicant could choose to study in any of the professional fields, they all chose the same one. “All candidates chose to apply to the Master’s Program in Public Management and Administration, possibly because their key motivation is to develop the country they have been defending,” suggested one of the project committee members, Oksana Ivantsiv.
“Undoubtedly, what could be a better path for these veterans than to enable them to project their passion for Ukraine by continuing their service, but this time in a peaceful context”, Ms. Ivantsiv commented. She added, “I thank everyone who supported the creatiion of this stipend program; it is a unique chance to change the life of specific individuals, as well as society at large. I believe that with new knowledge veterans will continue their service, as we have a different front line of change right here.”
The first stipend recipient is Dmytro Sychenko, who received a degree in history from Shevchenko Kyiv National University, went to serve directly after graduation, participated in ATO at different times, and wishes to influence the processes of state management directly.
The second stipend was awarded to Roman Antyuhov, who was born and raised in Kyiv, joined the ATO in 2015 at 20 years of age, and dreams of becoming a civil servant to rebuild Ukraine – the country he defended in the war zone.
The third stipend recipient is Andriy Matseyko. Andriy served in the ATO from June 2014 until February 2015. After his demobilization Andriy became a passionate activist and created a veteran movement in Kyiv. He is a cofounder of the NGO “Kyiv City Association of ATO Veterans.” Andriy wishes to join the civil service to apply his expertise from the private sector to building the state.
The fourth and the only female veteran who received the stipend this year is Andriana Susak. To ensure impartiality and objectivity, before making the decision to award the stipend, the project’s committee openly disclosed that two out of the four committee members know Andriana personally. But her story, experience, passion for learning, and incredible personality, based on objective considerations, played to Andriana’s advantage. Before Maidan Andriana Susak was a brand manager of an international company, later – a stormtrooper in a territorial defense battalion from 2014 to 2015, then a civic activist, a people’s diplomat, and a movie character in the documentary “Invisible Battalion.” She is now a student in the master’s program in Public Management and Administration at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. We will certainly follow the academic progress of these promising students and will share their stories and future successes. We wish them as much determination in conquering the academic “territories,” as they had in fighting for Ukraine.
Lyuba Shipovich, vice-president of Razom, invested much time and effort to help launch the project. Her work on social media, along with the support of her colleagues, made this project possible. Much appreciation also must be expressed to the team of the film “Invisible Battalion” for supporting this program. This is just the beginning. We will announce further plans for veterans education at Kyiv-Mohyla in the near future.
Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation of America
Razom for Ukraine