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Freedom and Responsibility at Reichman University

Ukrainian students find refuge far from home

Vladislava Talan (Courtesy)
Vladislava Talan (Courtesy)

One in six students at Reichman University receives a scholarship. In addition to scholarships for the Ethiopian community, international students, and lone soldiers, the Parasol Foundation Scholarship Program for Ukrainian Women is the latest scholarship program at Reichman University that provides scholarships to women from the war-torn regions of Ukraine who can no longer attend university in Ukraine. These women are supported by Ruth Parasol and the Parasol Foundation and Reichman University throughout their degrees to ensure they flourish and succeed in their studies.

Lives disrupted by the war

Vladyslava Talan, a recipient of the Parasol scholarship, was in her third year of studies at Alfred Nobel University in Dnipro, Ukraine studying International Economic Relations when the war broke out in Ukraine. Dnipro is home to what was a large and flourishing Jewish community. For Vladyslava, leaving her hometown and all that she knew was incredibly difficult, “if it weren’t for the war I could never have left,” she says, “my life was so good and comfortable there. When the war broke out, I left with my mother, little brothers and grandparents but my father and stepfather had to stay behind.”

She says that she worries about them daily, even though her city is not bombed as often as others. However, challenging the move and the reasons for moving have been, Vladyslava says that living in Israel has given her other opportunities. “I realize that life goes on. I am meeting people from all over the world, mainly thanks to my interaction with the different clubs on campus, such as the model UN. I am learning about Israeli culture and my professors in my Government and Sustainability degree are so passionate and engaged, I feel inspired to continue my studies despite the problems back home.”

Oleksandra Vasylieva, 20 years old, was born in Poltava and was in her third year of her BA, studying for an International Law degree at Kyiv International University when the war broke out. She and her family had to flee the city and she had to stop her studies. At the moment her father remains in Kyiv, where he works as an engineer for Lviv Gas.

Oleksandra Vasylieva (Courtesy)

Once the war broke out the factory transformed production to manufacturing anti-tank equipment. Her mother is in Poltava, looking after her grandmother who is undergoing cancer treatments. “Despite all the uncertainty going on, it was very important for me to find a way to continue studying”. Oleksandra is now a Parasol Foundation scholar and has started her first year in Government and Sustainability at Reichman University. “Reichman University and Parasol Foundation gave me a great opportunity not only to continue my studies, but also gave me a scholarship that fully covers my accommodation and studies. I am very grateful for such a generous scholarship which is such a good chance to complete my dream.”

Sofia Nadolenko (Courtesy)
Sofia Nadolenko was in her last year of high school when the war began. As a child she spent many years in Israel, as her father was the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel. “My parents are still living in Kyiv and they won’t leave. We saw many terrible situations, and narrowly escaped being bombed. When I left Ukraine to come to Israel, it took me three days of travelling to get to Poland, where I waited for my flight. It was terrible leaving this way and my parents behind. It has changed my priorities and matured me in many ways”. Sofia will study for her BA in Psychology and is determined to succeed despite the situation back home.

Anastasiia Yeremenko is 19 years old, studying for a BA in Psychology. The war in Ukraine, increased her motivation to become a psychologist and to help people recover from traumatic experiences. “I have left my mother and father behind in Kyiv and it very difficult to speak to them because of power cuts. I am trying to be positive and studying is helping me with this. I am truly grateful for this opportunity, to study at such a high level”.

According to Jonathan Davis, Vice President of External Relations and Head of the Raphael Recanati International School, “We are delighted to have been given this unique opportunity thanks to Ruth Parasol and the Parasol Foundation, that will enable Ukrainian women the opportunity to study at Reichman University. Reichman University is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in education and research and we are certain that these outstanding women will shine in their roles as Parasol Foundation Scholars.

Ruth Monicka Parasol, is the Principal Benefactress of The Parasol Foundation Trust which has given over £35,000,000 since 2004 to leading organizations. “The situation in Ukraine right now is devastating and we’re working with Reichman University to create opportunities for women to continue their STEM studies in Israel. We’re offering fully-paid STEM scholarships to four talented young women so they can pursue their dreams and achieve their potential.” Ms. Parasol has a strong commitment to women’s empowerment issues and is keen to support efforts to transform the opportunities and treatment of women in business and across many areas of society where the place and position of women is still denied equal rights and treatment.

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