Chyhyryn Program Information

Chyhyryn / Sebastopol sign 2014

Sebastopol World Friends has opened an important new chapter in our program by forming a partnership with Project C.U.R.E. to raise funds for our sister city’s local hospital in Chyhyryn.  The C.U.R.E. Cargo Project delivers semi-trailer-sized cargo containers carrying medical donations to under-resourced hospitals, clinics and community health centers in developing countries. Project C.U.R.E. is nationally acclaimed for its astonishing efficiency and is the largest provider worldwide of donated supplies and equipment.  They manage a complex inspection, inventory and logistics process that annually places millions of dollars worth of medical supplies and modern equipment directly into the hands of doctors and nurses so they can provide quality care to their patients, many of whom are women and young children.  If you are interested in learning more about this project or getting involved with our fundraising efforts, contact us at chyhyryn@sebastopolwf.org.

Sebastopol World Friends is also proud to facilitate the City of Sebastopol’s participation in the Open World Program, funded by the United States Congress, a program that brings young community leaders from former Soviet Union countries to visit communities in the U.S. to learn first-hand about democracy, transparent governance, and how non-profit organizations work together with government to address the needs of citizens.  The delegates, a small group of adults along with a translator and

First Open World Delegates from the Ukraine touring the San Francisco Bay

First Open World Delegates from the Ukraine touring the San Francisco Bay

facilitator, visit for 2-3 weeks and participate in a full-day educational program during the weekdays focused on a theme such as education, health, or women’s and children’s wellbeing.  Since 2010 Sebastopol has hosted several delegations from Chyhyryn, and will be hosting a delegation again in 2016.  We will post new information about Hosting and Volunteer Opportunities as we draw nearer to the event.

Although Sebastopol World Friends has a long and rich history of high school youth exchanges with Chyhyryn (see our history below), in close consultation with our sister city parters there we have agreed to put our program temporarily on hold due to the difficulties Ukraine is currently facing.   We eagerly look forward to resuming exchanges as soon as we possibly can, and will post details about that program as it takes shape.

Chyhyryh youth visiting Sebastopol in 2007

Chyhyryh youth visiting Sebastopol in 2007

We are also eager to continue to develop our Chyhyryn program in meaningful ways and welcome our community’s input, so if you have ideas for citizen-led community building programs for sister cities Sebastopol and Chyhryn, please share them with us at chyhyryn@sebastopolwf.org.

History of the program

In 1993 Mayor Lesych of Chyhyryn, Ukraine, traveled to Sebastopol for the signing of a Sister City Agreement between the two cities. The following year a delegation of six Sebastopol adults visited Chyhyryn, paving the way for numerous delegations to travel to Chyhyryn for service projects and cultural exchange.

SWF received grants from Sister Cities International for reciprocal youth exchanges in 1995 and 1996. In 1995 we painted the Chyhyryn library and provided over 350 books in English for Chyhyryn students. In 1996 exchangees completed environmental projects cleaning up parks in Chyhyryn and a park at Bodega Dunes. In 1997 SCI offered SWF a Sister Schools grant which allowed us to bring twelve students and one teacher here for the fall semester. Six students went to Analy and six to El Molino. Since then we have sponsored four individual students from Chyhyryn to attend high school and/or college here.

Over the years, in addition to high school youth, we have hosted a physician, numerous educators, journalists, businessmen, farmers, firemen (some who fought the fire at Chernobyl), Chyhyryn college students, military leaders, civic leaders, etc.

U05In 2006 SWF was awarded a Hewlett Packard grant which provided for two Chyhyryn students and five Sebastopol students to attend the International Youth Leadership Summit in Washington DC. The two Chyhyryn students then visited Sebastopol while the Sebastopol students continued on to Chyhyryn. SWF provided web software and internet access for Bogdan Khmelnitsky School in Chyhyryn.

Exchanges have continued since, including travel by a group of Sebastopol students who spent a week working with students at an orphanage in Chyhyryn and hosting in Sebastopol of several groups of students and adults here from Chyhyryn.

In 2008 Sebastopol World Friends hosted a delegation of educators from various parts of Ukraine as part of the Open World Program. It was such a positive experience for both the participants and the hosts that in 2010 Sebastopol World Friends organized an Open World delegation from our sister city, Chyhyryn. Since that time we have hosted three more Open World delegations from Chyhyryn and plan to host again in 2016.

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Want more information?

Have questions about the Chyhyryn Program, please get in touch. We’ll be happy to help.