Students, workers, citizens facing various hardships amidst Ukraine-Russia conflict

(Courtesy of MichalMatlon, Unspash)

As those affected by the Ukrainian conflict continue to face hardships, student and government organizations alike are looking to support students where they can. 

Help Ukrainian Students is one of many organizations that have been getting involved to help those students who have been affected by the ongoing crisis. Composed of alumni of various Canadian institutions, they all strive to ensure that Ukrainian students get the support they need. 

Excalibur spoke with Dariia Lazarenko of Help Ukrainian Students, who noticed something peculiar. “There are a lot of people who truly care about the issue raised to support Ukrainian students located in Canada, however, major attention is directed to Ukrainian land and the terrible events that are happening there. For this reason, there are also a lot of people that disregard the issue of international students being in Canada while their country is at war.

“Ukrainian students who are here have double the pressure of being worried about their families back home and being worried about how they can survive in Canada and pay for basic needs such as groceries or accommodation.”

Lazarenko asserts that everyone needs to bring as much awareness to this issue as possible to help future generations build a stronger Canada and to rebuild Ukraine.

On March 17, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced Ukrainian workers, students and visitors and their family members who are already in Canada may either apply to extend their visitor status or work permit for three years, apply for a new work or study permit, or extend their existing permit. 

IRCC say they will waive all extension and work or study permit application fees.

Speaking on behalf of IRCC, Rémi Larivière, media relations advisor, says, “IRCC does not provide direct financial aid to students. Most post-secondary study permit holders, including Ukrainians, have authorization to work on and/or off campus during their studies.”

“The Government of Canada is also calling on employers who wish to support Ukrainians with offers of employment to register these offers on Job Bank’s Jobs for Ukraine webpage.” Job Bank is said to then work with local organizations and employers to help connect them with Ukrainians seeking work in their communities.

IRCC pledges to continue their discussions with their partners, other provinces and territories, the business community, the Ukrainian-Canadian community, and settlement organizations, on how best to support those arriving from Ukraine.  

Per York’s Deputy Spokesperson Yanni Dagonas and President Rhonda Lenton, York has reached out to Ukrainian students individually to let them know of resources and support that is available to them, including financial and mental health support, along with advice on academic, visa, and immigration matters.

About the Author

By Nick Mokrzewski

News Editor

Nick is in his third year of Film Production at York University. Raised in an artistic family, he’s never had much problem expressing himself whether it be through music, writing, or comedic rants. He’s a big sucker for watching and critiquing films, going to concerts, professional wrestling, and consuming coffee or chocolate. Nick intends to have many artistic pursuits in either writing, filmmaking, or anything that involves music — whatever suits his fancy on the given day. He’ll often tell you “life is short, seize the moment ‘cause tomorrow you might be dead!”


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