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“It just seemed like fate,” Manitoba woman wants more people to host Ukrainian refugees

Click to play video: 'Hosting Ukrainian refugees a rewarding experience' Hosting Ukrainian refugees a rewarding experience
A couple from rural Manitoba wants people to know how rewarding hosting refugees can be. Michelle Karlenzig has the story of a deep connection between a Ukrainian couple and a woman from Petersfield – May 21, 2022

Kyrylo and Anastasiia Ovcharenko landed two weeks ago in Winnipeg after fleeing Ukraine – and they say the support from the Petersfield and Gimli community so far has been incredible.

“You can’t even imagine that people here are that friendly,” said Ovcharenko.

The pair fled a war-torn Ukraine, despite leaving friends and family behind. Ovcharenko says while he’s happy to be in Canada, it’s hard to fully celebrate because there’s still so much destruction back home.

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Read more: Dauphin, Parkland region set to welcome Ukrainian refugees

“It’s hard to put into words,” said Ovcharenko.

The young couple are staying with Diane Grocholski and her husband near Petersfield, north of Winnipeg.

They connected on a website called https://icanhelp.host/ where Grocholski had posted her home.

“We’ve had so much success on the website,” said Grocholski, who says she had to get verified first.

The Ukrainian couple first found a job at a local farm through a Youtube channel – that’s when they found Grocholski’s house posting, which happened to be just minutes from the farm.

“It just seemed like fate it seemed like it was meant to be that they come stay with us and we can get them settled and get them ready going to their new jobs.

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Grocholski says through the website, she has already lined up two more families to come to stay in the Petersfield area.

When it comes to hosting, Grocholski says she wishes more people knew just how rewarding it can be to help those in need.

“They are so young, and we were that age once…and we had a safe place and opportunities and they deserve the same,” she said.

As for the Ovcharenko’s the feeling, is mutual.

“We are so thankful for Diane and everyone,” said Ovcharenko.

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