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UWC President to influential Portuguese media: The key is to support refugee children’s ties to Ukraine

#UWC news
March 14,2024 367
UWC President to influential Portuguese media: The key is to support refugee children’s ties to Ukraine

Paul Grod, President of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), emphasized in an interview with SAPO 24 – a Portuguese state news agency broadcasting globally to Portuguese-speaking audiences – that maintaining Ukrainian identity abroad is crucial for returning displaced refugees to Ukraine. This involves studying the Ukrainian language, engaging in Ukrainian education, and immersing in Ukrainian-speaking communities.

“If Ukrainian children stop learning their native language and lose it along with their identity, they will be reluctant to return to Ukraine, and as a result, it will also be very difficult for their mothers to return,” says Paul Grod. The UWC President also adds that the parents of children who are currently defending Ukraine will face a choice after victory – to stay in Ukraine or go abroad to their families.

“The first thing to do now is to guarantee an adequate Ukrainian school system for these children,” says Grod. Additionally, the return will depend on how safe the people’s previous residence in Ukraine would be and how high the level of integration into a foreign country the children would achieve, adds the UWC President.

“It is important for Ukrainian children to integrate into, for example, Portuguese society, but on the other hand, not to lose their identity, which is the main condition for returning home,” emphasizes Grod. 

Therefore, it is crucial now to support these children, provide them with education, and not let them lose their connection with Ukraine, the UWC President said. Paul Grod is on an official visit to South European countries.

Cover: SAPO 24

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