‘It’s been life changing’: Ukrainian refugee and host family celebrate Easter together in Calgary – Calgary

Hundreds of people gathered with family members at St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in northeast Calgary for Easter services on Sunday.

But some Ukrainians are separated from their family at home.

Maria Mitiasova wished her mom in the Ukraine Happy Easter from her new home in Calgary. Mitiasova arrived in Calgary on April 8 from Bila Tserkva, a city south of kyiv.

“Of course, it was very difficult to make this decision, due to the fact that I had to leave my family behind, but it became very unbearable: sleeping every night and waking up with the air alarms and air raids, and just sleeping in the shelter – [it] it became very tiring,” Mitiasova said.

Images from a religious service at the Ukrainian Orthodox sobor of St. Vladimir on Sunday, April 24, 2022.

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Mitiasova is now staying with Calgary personal wellness trainer Rebecca Garland and her husband. They met through Facebook.

“The city received me very well, and being in Calgary and being in my host house, [it] it feels like being in my new home, but in Canada,” Mitiasova said.

“I feel very comfortable here, and I feel very welcome, and I get a lot of support.”

Garland said deciding to become a host was a matter of asking herself what her values ​​are.

“For me it was a no-brainer. People are running for their lives,” Garland said.

He added that having a guest from Ukraine has been a wonderful experience.

“I loved it. We call each other sisters. We are your Canadian family. We connect very very well. She has been life changing in a very good way,” Garland said.

“I wish these weren’t the circumstances because I know it’s heartbreaking for Maria to leave her family and friends.”

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Mitiasova said the hardest part of being here is being away from her family, but she keeps busy with exercise, new friends and already has a job in Calgary with the same IT company she had in Ukraine.

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“I was very lucky to get the job offer here, so I can continue to work for the same company and get support from this company,” Mitiasova said.

He said that the owner of TEKTELIC Communications is of Ukrainian origin, but moved to Canada and established the company here.

“The company is doing a great job helping the Ukrainians, sending a lot of medical teams and radio communication equipment to support the soldiers and the army in Ukraine,” Mitiasova said.

Garland said that even if Calgarians aren’t in a position to welcome people coming from Ukraine, there’s a lot people can do.

“The need is great: extra help, helping find host families, picking them up at the airport, helping evacuees find jobs, collecting donations, fundraising, reaching out to our parliamentarians for support and financial help,” Garland said.

Click to play video: 'Albertans continue to grow support for Ukraine as war marks grim milestone'

Albertans continue to grow support for Ukraine as war marks grim milestone

Albertans Continue to Ramp Up Support for Ukraine as War Marks a Grim Milestone – April 14, 2022

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