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Kelowna to welcome displaced Ukrainian family

Bravery Foundation are supporting a mother and her two children to flee the war in Ukraine
Ivanka, Maxim, Natalia fled Ukraine while father Andre has remained to fight. (The Bravery Foundation photo)

Kelowna will welcome a temporarily displaced Ukrainian family this weekend.

The Bravery Foundation has supported a Ukrainian family in their escape from the war in Ukraine.

Local teacher Nina Typusiak is housing the displaced family, mother Ivanka, and children Maxim, 9, and Natalia, 6.

Their last name has been redacted to protect their privacy. Andre, their father and husband stayed behind in Ukraine to fight.

“We need to honour their privacy and fear,” said Typusiak about respecting the trauma that the family has endured.

The family fled Ukraine on March 4 and since then have been staying with 12 other people in a one-bedroom apartment in Prague.

The three had to leave behind most of their belongings, able to bring only one suitcase and two small backpacks of essentials while fleeing the Russian attack.

“Ivanka resists with fear everything that is offered to her because it is too scary,” said Typusiak.

Ivanka in Prague as she awaited her visa. (The Bravery Foundation)
Ivanka in Prague as she awaited her visa. (The Bravery Foundation)

“She is so extremely traumatized,” said Bonnie Penner, founder of the Bravery Foundation.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran told Capital News that he is “pleased that members of the community have stepped up, I really commend those people opening their homes.”

Basran said “more refugees are welcome,” but acknowledges the difficulty that people face securing housing in the Okanagan.

“The situation is heartbreaking,” said Basran.

Typusiak hired a Toronto-based company to help Ivanka and her children obtain the appropriate papers to enter Canada.

The family has received their Visa and has purchased their plane ticket, paid for by Typusiak.

“The Bravery Foundation is working to help all refugees fleeing the war.”

Those looking to help Ivanka and her family, and those that will be arriving after them, can do so by donating or checking the Bravery Foundation website for specific needs that the arriving families have.

The website also provides up-to-date information for refugees and people escaping war hoping to enter Canada and for those able to host displaced families.

Kelowna Stands With Ukraine has organized a collection bin for donated goods. Contact for more information.

Contact with questions or offers of donations or opportunities like jobs for temporarily displaced people.

Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

I'm a reporter in the beginning stages of my career. I joined the team at Capital News in November 2021...
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