Scholarship students from Ukraine

For two years, The Association of Folk High Schools in Denmark has given people from war-torn Ukraine scholarships to attend folk high schools in Denmark – but what impact have these stays had? Read the responses from two of IPC’s former Ukrainian students here (Autumn Term 2023).

Olena Tsedilina, 28 years old:

“Even before the onset of Russia’s full invasion of Ukraine, I was interested in civic education and identifying effective democratic practices globally. Discovering the work of N.F.S. Grundtvig was transformative and enriched my perspective on education”, says Olena Tsedilina, former student at the International People’s College, “I have long wished to attend a folk high school and explore Danish culture and history. The scholarship program made this possible for me.”

“The time I spent at IPC was extremely inspiring, broadened my horizons and enriched my knowledge base. I gained invaluable friendships, insights, and renewed motivation to make a meaningful contribution to society,” says Olena Tsedilina. “My research into Grundtvig’s teachings and the philosophy of folk high schools has become significantly deeper. During my time at IPC, I developed a project aimed at strengthening democratic activism in Ukraine. I conducted interviews with teachers and students to gain insight into the influence and significance of folk high schools and Danish culture on their lives. I also interviewed a library director about the development of libraries and their central role in the political and social landscape of Denmark, which has paved the way for a new collaboration. I am involved in a grant proposal where libraries will be used to integrate Ukrainian refugees into Danish, Finnish, Estonian, and Latvian communities”.

Olena ends by saying, “My stay has had a profound impact on my life. There are almost no words to express the depth of my gratitude and respect for the generosity and humanity you have shown.”

Liudmyla Lesiv, 22 years old:

“At the International People’s College, I gained a better understanding of life in an international community. We were all so different and yet so alike at the same time, and we learned how even small actions can be important”, says Liudmyla Lesiv, former student at the International People’s College.

“I started volunteering at the Erasmus Social Network in Kyiv, where I have found people who give young people a sense of community.What I have taken away from my stay is that I need to be myself, be brave, explore all my opinions, and find peace. It’s not enough just to exist. You have to be an active citizen – a global, active citizen”, Liudmyla Lesiv ends.

Read the full article (in Danish) here.

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