Diary of a Ukrainian refugee: “I really like the attitude towards children in Irish schools”

Andriy returned to school earlier this month and he was, of course, worried. Everything is new — a new school, new children — and everything is in English.

eshop Galvin National School in Templeogue called a meeting before his first day and the teacher, Ms Conway, tried to calm him down. She told him that he had three priorities for the sixth grade class: happiness, fun, and English. She also told him not to think about the notes.

Andriy said that on the first day half of the school wanted to meet him. Some children asked to learn Ukrainian words. There is a teacher’s aide who also teaches English. So he is in love and really appreciates it.

Books and uniforms are very expensive, but we got an allowance for that and built it into the budget. Andriy, of course, likes a sporty version of the uniform. He jokes that a classic uniform, with a sweater and shirt, makes him look like a little office worker.

I really like the attitude towards children in Irish schools. In addition to knowledge and lessons, the school thinks about the psychological state of the students and makes sure they have fun.

We are slowly getting used to the fact that we will be living in Ireland for the whole school year. Of course Andriy wants to go home, but I think he wants to go home before the war. I explain to him that it is very risky. And it would be very difficult to study at school when you have to run several times to the air-raid shelter.

Before the war I lived in Kyiv and it is a very fast city. Everything works almost 24/7 and you work like that. Now I study in Ireland because there is a lot of time. I like the Irish proverb: “When God made time, he made plenty.”

What aspects of Ukraine’s infrastructure do I think Ireland could benefit from? Ukraine is a highly digitized country. We can do a lot of things online and have an app with all digital documents.

Ukrainians are surprised by old-fashioned local banking. Paid transactions? Special terminals for transferring money to an international account? No possibility of immediate online money transfer between cards? Old-fashioned postal accommodations when money is credited to the card account within hours? We stopped using these services 15 to 20 years ago. Internet banking appeared in Ukraine in 2000.

So who knows, maybe Ukrainians coming to Ireland will be able to accelerate the development of fintech in the country and make Irish banks more modern. Ukrainians can certainly help with this.

I think bravery is the characteristic of Ukrainians that the whole world sees now. But the Irish don’t need to learn that: they are just as brave if you look at history. We have many similar story pages.

Today we are going to the zoo, and on Sunday we are going to a barbecue with friends. When it rains, Andriy can play online with his friend from Kyiv.

I was in the hospital and had surgery in mid-August, so those are the two main things for me right now: my son’s school and my recovery.

In conversation with Katie Byrne

Comments are closed.