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Kelowna Stands with Ukraine seeking volunteers, mentors for incoming refugees

Click to play video: 'Kelowna Stands with Ukraine seeking volunteers, mentors for incoming refugees' Kelowna Stands with Ukraine seeking volunteers, mentors for incoming refugees
A member of the organization says in the next three weeks or so, 30 families from Ukraine are expected to arrive in the Okanagan – May 4, 2022

With some displaced Ukrainians making their way to the Okanagan, the Kelowna Stands with Ukraine society is reaching out to the city’s Russian community for help accommodating refugees.

On Monday evening, Kelowna Stands with Ukraine held a meeting with hopes of coming up with a plan.

“We are trying to get the Russian community — not only Russian speaking, but people who are actually from Russia — to participate in helping Ukrainian refugees,” said Denys Storozhuk, the president of Kelowna Stands With Ukraine.

Read more: Russian woman living in Kelowna publicly supports Ukraine despite criticism

“Their help is very valuable because they speak the language. Most of the refugees that are coming from eastern Ukraine are Russian speakers.”

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Currently, Kelowna Stands with Ukraine has about a dozen volunteers who speak Russian or Ukrainian. However, the organization says it’s not enough for the number are refugees that are expected to arrive this month.

“In the bigger picture, we are expecting about 30 families to come in the next three weeks, from Ukraine,” said Dmitriy Gibl, a member of Kelowna Stands with Ukraine.

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“And we are desperately in need to find mentors and support people. Regardless of what you believe, we just want to wake up that humanity without political belonging.”

The organization is looking for mentors to assist displaced Ukrainians when they arrive. Anyone who can be of help can visit the group’s Facebook page.

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