ENGin and the War in Ukraine (Updated September 2022)
In 2014, Russia started an unprovoked war against Ukraine; in 2022, Russia escalated this war into a full-scale invasion, actively aided by Belarus. For this reason, the ENGin Program does not work with students, volunteers, partner organizations, or donors located in Russia or Belarus.
We condemn and stand AGAINST any attempts to justify the war, adherence to the mythical ideology of "brotherly nations" or peace initiatives that involve concessions on the part of Ukraine.
We walk alongside people who, like us, aim to develop a free, sovereign, independent Ukraine, while recognizing its thousand-year history and centuries-old traditions of culture and state-building.
As Russia seeks to conquer Ukraine's land, subjugate its people, and destroy its identity, ENGin's goal of transforming Ukraine through the power of the English language and international connections has never been more relevant. Here is how we are responding to the formidable challenges that the war has brought.
(1) Sharing Ukrainian Stories
Our students and volunteers are busy sharing Ukrainian stories in the US and around the world. We have been virtually visiting high schools in the US and India, connecting with nonprofits across Africa and South America, and giving dozens of interviews in national and local media outlets. Please see our Press page for examples.
As Russia churns out harmful propaganda to aid its war effort, our work sharing firsthand stories from Ukrainians allows the world to hear the truth about the war.
(2) Raising Age Limits to Support Young Professionals
In light of the job losses faced by Ukrainians since the start of the war, we're increasing the age limit for students to 35.
As of March, half of Ukrainians had lost their jobs (Source). These job losses stem from businesses forced to shut down due to the war, as well as large-scale evacuation from Ukrainian towns and cities into Western regions of Ukraine and other countries.
Many foreign companies are eager to help employ Ukrainians, both remotely and in-person (in the case of refugees). The ability to speak English is an essential requirement for most of these jobs. Unfortunately, English fluency among Ukrainians is low - the country ranks 30th of 35 European countries (Source). And, while there are low-cost methods for learning to understand or write in English, spoken fluency is almost impossible to achieve without real-world practice with English speakers.
With extensive experience helping high-school and college-aged Ukrainians improve their English speaking skills, ENGin is uniquely poised to fill this gap. ENGin is the only program in Ukraine offering free quality English speaking practice to any young Ukrainian, anytime, for as long as they need.
(3) Filling Gaps in Education
Many Ukrainian students have seen their learning interrupted as schools shut down or go online, families evacuate to new cities and countries, and a focus on survival and meeting basic needs pushes education to the back burner. ENGin offers the ultimate level of flexibility to help fill these gaps and keep young Ukrainians learning even when they cannot attend school. We accept students 365 days a year - wherever they are located. We can accommodate nearly any schedule - from early morning to late evening, from weekday to weekend. We've also loosened requirements for a strong internet connection for video sessions and currently allow audio-only sessions as well.
(4) Preparing to Rebuild
While Ukrainians' immediate goal is ending the war and protecting the nation against Russian aggression, we must also begin thinking about the future. Foreign investment, partnerships with foreign companies, tourism - all will be key to rebuilding Ukraine. English fluency will be essential to work successfully with our allies. ENGin is creating a generation of English-fluent, culturally competent young Ukrainians ready to rebuild our nation.