YouTube Video Documenting Our History with Vinogradov Children
In July 2012 LifeNets sponsors an English Class in the
Carpathian Region of Ukraine from July 3-18. Vasil and Irina
Polichko, directors, bring in children from Vinogradov and surrounding
areas along with their orphans and street children that they take care of
themselves. LifeNets has chosen five people to go on the third such
mission. Previous ones can be reviewed at http://lifenets.org/vinogradov.
Those going are Oleh Kubik (coordinator), Natasha Kubik, Greg Rorem, Colin Kubik and Lauren Kubik.
Oleh Kubik, Coordinator
Oleh Kubik who speaks both Ukrainian and English was born of
Ukrainian immigrants. He teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) in
the local school district in New York and works with Ukrainian
immigrants in the Binghamton, New York area.
Final preparations are being made for this summer’s trek to Ukraine. Oleh Kubik will be heading up a group of young adults, Greg Rorem, Natasha Kubik, and Lauren Kubik and one high school student Colin Kubik. Our destination is an orphanage in the Subcarpathiam area of Ukraine. We will be using every moment in classes, song, poetry, arts and crafts and sports to work with about 30 children from the streets of Vinohradiv.
Oleh Kubik writes:
"It probably is one of the most challenging and rewarding assignment that one can do. The children come from disadvantaged backgrounds. They begin as shy and reticent children and by the end of the two weeks they are outgoing, laughing and rambunctious youth. It is amazing what a little milk of human kindness, sincere attention and honest concern will do to a young neglected person. Last year it was very hard to say good-bye after a mere two weeks of working with the kids. We do more that teach English. We use the strength of each of the college students to relate to the children. They learn personal hygiene, character lessons and spiritual principles of life. We make every effort to expand their horizons . We do try and improve each year and build on the previous year. The anticipation is building and we are looking forward to another successful and exciting summer. Much of the the program is patterned after SEP Programs at Orr, Minnesota."
Natasha Kubik, Oleh Kubik's daughter has finished her third year of
college. She has also worked with street children in Sri Lanka and
"My Name is Natasha H. Kubik, and I am twenty-one; twenty-two on July 7th. I am a rising senior at Binghamton University in New York State studying history with a concentration in diplomacy. I work as a part-time Administrative Assistant at The Family & Children’s Society. In my free time I enjoy rollerblading, scuba diving and photography. I am a firm believer that one should always use the gifts and talents they are given in life, never miss out an opportunity to learn something, and always bless other in ways that one has been blessed.
"I am very excited for trip number two to Vinohradiv, Ukraine. I look forward to stepping off the train and seeing the bluest skies, the biggest and brightest sunflower fields and eating the best food that God has every provided to mankind. I have extremely missed the children that so loving touched my heart last year and I cannot wait to hug each and every one of them.
I have a deep love and respect for Ukraine and the people that live there. The history of this country is wrought with people who have endured a lot of heartache. My goals for this trip, besides teaching English, are to show these kids the love and attention that they so desperately long for, to show them there is more to life than what they see in the small part of their country and that they can absolutely do ANYTHING they want in life with the help from God because through Him all things are possible, including these goals of mine that can be accomplished as well.
It always takes me months to prepare for each trip overseas. It takes me time to prepare lesson plans or to prepare myself physically, mentally and spiritually to that I am healthy enough to actually do a good work. Very quickly I am reminded of the fact that these trips are way bigger than I am. I come home having learned more than I had ever hoped to bring over to them. It is the children especially, that teach me and put me in my place on petty things, and that is what I can value. I cannot say what it is that they will teach me, but I know that I will walk away with a lot. I look forward to this trip and am excited to see what the Master upstairs has for us." - Natasha H. Kubik
Greg graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a B.S. in Cognitive Science with a specialization in human-computer interaction on June 17, 2012.
"During the past five summers, I have volunteered my time at United Youth Camps in service of youth from around the United States. With this opportunity which I have been given, I will be able to extend those borders and serve youth in a different county and culture than my own while getting to know them and learning much about their culture. I am very excited to be able to serve these kids by not only volunteering my time and imparting a valuable skill by teaching them English, but also by showing them that God's love and good service knows no borders, and that there are strangers from faraway places who do care about them and wish to help them learn skills which will open opportunities to them in their lives." - Greg Rorem
"I was really excited when I found out that I would have the opportunity to spend a few weeks in Ukraine this summer. It is a great chance for me to immerse myself in another culture, work with kids, and meet extended family. I have always loved to travel and do new things. I am excited to work with kids, play games, teach English and just see what life is like in Ukraine. It will be much different than what I am used to and I am so excited to learn about the culture. I am hoping to learn more of the language and their customs. I am also excited to meet family and learn about the Kubik history. While I am there, I hope I can impact the kids I work with and be a good role model for them. This is going to be an experience of a lifetime and something I will remember forever. I am so grateful that I get this opportunity. - Lauren Kubik
I am very excited to go to the Ukraine this summer. I am interested in my background and where I came from. I also love working with children. I will be teaching English as a second language to them. I also want to learn from the kids that I will work with. They will probably teach me the same amount I teach them. Visiting family will be a huge highlight for me while I am there. I am also excited to see how God will work through me in the orphanage. When I am older I want to be a teacher. I think that teaching kids English will help prepare me." - Colin Kubik