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Chyhyryn Program Information

Thank you for your interest in Sebastopol World Friends’ Ukraine program!  Since 1993, Sebastopol, California and Chyhyryn, Ukraine have maintained a deep relationship through individual and group travel, cultural exchanges, good wishes and good projects.

An adult delegation to Chyhyryn will be planned when international travel re-opens. For more information please contact us at chyhyryn@sebastopolwf.org.

Additionally, SWF’s Chyhyryn Committee is working to elicit ideas from the community for our next project.  We are planning outreach in the Sebastopol community about Ukraine, our sister city, opportunities for cultural exchange, and to find how you would like to be involved in this life-affirming, person-to-person contact with friends across the world.

Project C.U.R.E

Most recently, Sebastopol Worlds Friends completed its fundraising and logistical partnership with Project C.U.R.E., an international non-profit specializing in distribution of donated medical supplies. The C.U.R.E. Cargo Project delivers semi-trailer-sized cargo containers of medical donations to under-resourced hospitals, clinics and community health centers in developing countries.  For over two years, Sebastopol World Friends worked to gather funds in spring of 2018 after assessments, shipping and customs challenges, the container arrived in Chyhyryn.  We have celebrated this success and are now planning the next steps for Sebastopol’s relationship with Chyhyryn.

Chyhyryh youth visiting Sebastopol in 2007

History of the program

When SWF began looking for a second sister city, it was felt that a city from the former Soviet Union would be interesting and educational. John Masura, a  gentleman from Sebastopol who lives in Cherkassy, Ukraine, told us about the perfect town – Chyhyryn. Not only was it small and agricultural, it, like Sebastopol, also had a history of preventing the building of a nuclear power plant.  An added bonus was its proximity to Cherkasy (sister to Santa Rosa) and Kaniv (sister to Sonoma).

In 1993 Mayor Lesych and three others from 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 exchanges.

Youth Exchanges

SWF received grants from Sister Cities International (SCI) 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 exchange students 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.

In 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.

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 from Chyhyryn.  Additionally,  we have sponsored four individual students from Chyhyryn to attend high school and/or college here.

In close consultation with our Chyhyryn partners, youth exchanges were suspended in 2014 due to the ongoing armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine. We eagerly look forward to resuming youth exchanges as soon as we possibly can, and will post details about that program as it takes shape.

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

Professional/Civic Delegations

In 2008 Sebastopol World Friends hosted a delegation of educators from various parts of Ukraine as part of the Open World Leadership Center | OpenWorld. 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 four more Open World delegations. Over the years, through Open World, we have hosted medical professionals, educators, journalists, business leaders, farmers, emergency service workers, military leaders, and civic leaders.

Additionally, we have sent adult delegations from Sebastopol to Chyhyryn.

Want more information?

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