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CYM Volunteer Stories - Maria

Hartuis! What’s your name?

Hartuis! My name is Maria, and this is my CYM story.

Tell us about your experience with CYM

I have been in CYM from the age of about 7. I first went to a summer tabir which was held in Bradford and then later from 1965 at Tarasivka. There I made many friends and learnt a lot about Ukrainian history and culture!

As time went on I was able to pass on what I learnt to the young yunatstvo. In the 1980s I began teaching at Ukrainian school in Rochdale, where I passed on everything I was taught about Ukraine!

In 1989 I was elected holova of Oseredok Rochdale, and am still holova to this day. I carry out my role with pride and it makes me very happy.

For over ten years I was the head of the kitchen at Tarasivka. Every year, I spent over three weeks at summer camps cooking for the children. It was hard work but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I watched our members grow up and come to summer camps every year.

In 2019 I was awarded the 4th award for Vyhovnyky from the CYM world committee for my work. It was an honour to achieve this and be recognised internationally by CYM. I always wear my award with pride!

What kind of activities do you take part in at CYM?

I like to do pysanky workshops, not just with the children but also with adults, and I teach children Ukrainian songs and poems for different commemorations.

At summer tabir I have taught children pysanky and embroidery. It was a great pleasure to pass this onto the children just like it was passed onto me. Ukrainian dancing is also very important and children love to dance!

What does being part of CYM mean to you?

Being part of CYM means a lot to me.

I learnt about my culture and the importance of being Ukrainian from a very early age. I still remember the songs that I learnt as a young member to this day.

Going to Zdvyhy and taking part in singing and dancing, as well as going to summer tabory helped me make lots of friends.

Learning about the history and culture of Ukraine is important, and it means a lot to me to be able to pass on what I was taught as a child, to the younger members of CYM now.

“There are many people who have a lot to offer and should come and pass their knowledge on. We must never let Ukrainian culture die!”


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