Lesia Kotsyumbas and her two children left their home city of Kyiv in March 2022, to escape the war that had been instigated by Russia against the independent country of Ukraine. They settled with relatives in Kerhonkson, NY, where there is an established Ukrainian community. Lesia’s husband, Andrii, remains in Kyiv where he works as a cardiologist. Like all Ukrainian men, he is required to stay there to help his country.
I met Lesia and her children at Rondout Valley schools, where the kids are enrolled, and where I am a teacher of English as a New Language. As I got to know this family, I felt that they should share their story and the story of their country with others. Lesia has first hand information and experience in how Ukraine has been transformed, and the choices people have had to make in response to the invasion.
This event will also be a fundraiser for the work of the Krakow, Poland Jewish community with Ukrainian refugees.