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Supporting local Ukrainian refugees with doll-making workshop

A Ukrainian doll-making workshop is taking place later this month in support of two families who recently relocated to North Bay from Ukraine.

Nipissing University’s Extended Learning department is hosting the session on Oct. 27. 

The university says Maryna Bieliaieva and Olha Ivanchencko are Ukrainian refugees who are now living in North Bay and will guide attendees in making a Motanka, a traditional Ukrainian doll. 

“I want to continue to be creative in Canada and teach my skills to others while we build a new and safe life for my family,” says Bieliaieva.  

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In February, when Russia invaded Ukraine, Maryna and her husband, Andrii, moved abroad with their children and pets to provide themselves with safety and a brighter future. 

The university says they developed a friendship with Dr. Kristina Karvinen, Associate Professor in the Physical and Health Education department at Nipissing, who helped the family plan their transition to Canada and opened her home once they arrived. 

Olha, along with her daughter Milana were forced to flee their home in Kyiv.

After arriving in Toronto, they were originally going to join Olha’s brother in Philadelphia but were turned away at the U.S. border.  

After Olha’s mother passed away in August she decided to stay in Canada and start her life with her daughter in North Bay.  

The university says Olha and her family connected with Dr. Stephen Connor, Assistant Professor of History at Nipissing, and his wife Anna who opened their home to them. 

 “Thank you for opening your doors to us and standing up against hate and violence,” says Olha, who has been participating and teaching Nipissing University students about the traumas of colonialism, genocide and war. 

The cost of the workshop is $15 with proceeds going to both families. 

For more information and to register, visit:  

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