The online art auction raising money to teach English to Ukrainian newcomers

Winnipeg’s Ukrainian cultural and educational centre is offering up the chance to own a beautiful piece of art and help Ukrainian newcomers settling in Manitoba.

Oseredok is holding an online art auction over the coming week. Dozens of pieces created by both Canadian and Ukrainian artists are available for bidding on the centre’s website.

All money raised by the auction will go towards the funding of English language classes for people who have had to flee Ukraine because of the war with Russia. Since March 2022, more than 14,000 people have moved to Manitoba because of the conflict.

Maryna Radyk, Oseredok’s fund development officer, said it is a horrible situation to be in. “They were not ready to move to Canada, they were not prepared like other newcomers … they’ve just arrived and they feel lost and they can’t communicate.”

This will be the fourth offering of free English lessons from Oseredok since the war began. Radyk said the previous three courses were incredibly popular.

“They can get settled here, they can find their jobs here,” said Radyk. “We are trying to raise funds to be able to provide such services for Ukrainian newcomers in this very difficult moment of their life.”

The auction kicked off Sunday morning, and runs until 9 p.m. on Mar. 20. All the available pieces of art can be viewed on Oserodok’s website.

Donated works include Avtandil Gurgenidze’s “Stay with Ukraine,” and Diana Thorneycroft’s “When Animals Revolt.”

Radyk said she’s overwhelmed with the show of support.

“We have a really strong Ukrainian community and we have a lot of artists that are ready to support us in this,” she said.  “They are standing with us in this very difficult moment for Ukraine.”

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