(Saint John) When a plane carrying 177 Ukrainian refugees landed in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, on Tuesday night, Pamela Ryder Lahey stood in front of the crowd inside the airport, waiting for five young people to walk through the doors.
Posted yesterday at 10:44 pm.
The retired Chief Executive of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court has spent the past few months securing the five 21-year-old graduate students a place at Memorial University in St. John’s. She also found them a four-bedroom house and saved enough money to pay their rent, stock their refrigerators, and make their beds comfortable.
“We are here because of this great woman,” Angelina Schevchenko said, hugging Pamela Ryder Lahey. MI Schevchenko said she was excited to be in Newfoundland, where she will begin a master’s degree in social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship.
But it was also difficult to leave her home country, she confessed, and the four other people she was traveling with agreed.
“We miss Ukraine,” testified Mr.I Shevchenko.
This is the second flight chartered by the provincial government to allow Ukrainians to escape the horrors caused by the Russian invasion. A first plane with 166 refugees landed in the province on May 9.
This second charter flight departed Warsaw, Poland, where the government of Newfoundland and Labrador established an office last March to help Ukrainian refugees who want to settle in the province to start a new life.
Immigration Minister Gerry Byrne was at the airport to greet each person, family and pet. Byrne said that with the 177 people who arrived on Tuesday night, the province had taken in 478 refugees since the Russian army’s first offensive on Feb.
“We are building a community of Ukrainians in Newfoundland and Labrador,” he told reporters before the flight arrived.
Everyone on the plane had at least temporary accommodation, and a school bus was waiting outside the airport to take them there. Some passengers on the plane, such as MI Schevchenko and her four friends had people like Pamela Ryder Lahey waiting to take them to a new home where a new life awaited them.
MI Ryder Lahey mentioned working on two projects in Ukraine, where he met Ms.I Shevchenko in Kyiv.
“She contacted me when the war started and asked if there were any Canadian universities that might have a special program for Ukrainian students,” she said.I Ryder Lahey.
All five students now have full scholarships to pursue their master’s degrees at Memorial University.
“So it’s thanks to a woman in Ukraine that we now have this relationship with these students. We are very happy to have them here,” she said.
Dmytro Gerdsen and his family also had someone waiting for them in St. John’s to help them. He arrived on Tuesday with his wife, mother and six-year-old son, and said he was hopeful for the future.
“We are open to your people, to friendship, and I hope we live here for a long time,” said Gerdsen, who longed for a good night’s sleep. And maybe my son will be prime minister in 20 or 30 years. »