Ukrainian Speaker Visits to Give Firsthand Account

Students engage with program to learn what they can do to help

Mattie Fitzpatrick, Editorial Board

Brewster’s Model United Delegation recently had the opportunity to get a an account on a major international conflict and were given the opportunity to learn further about the Russian-Ukrainian War from a first person point of view. This presentation, organized by Mr. Thomas Mullane, gave students an up-close account of the situation in Ukraine and helped educate them not only on the situation itself, but also what they can do to help by donating money and supplies for humanitarian aid for Ukraine. For their safety, the name of this speaker will remain anonymous as this war is an ongoing conflict but rest assured their experience was invaluable to this club and all of those who joined us. This presentation was open to not only Model UN delegates, but also ROTC students and any history student or teacher interested in listening and being informed.
Some of the topics discussed in this presentation included bombings in Ukraine’s capital Kyviv and throughout Ukraine, political acts of violence throughout the country including the bombing of a maternity hospital, and the devastating loss of life in this conflict. Our Ukrainian Source said, “. . . they bombed a maternity hospital. I can’t say how many people were killed there but it was just very scary for all of us.” Other topics spoken about include Ukraine’s negotiation demands for peace, the propaganda campaigns in schools and in the media in some parts of the world, and the current state of negotiations. When asked what they believed was the most important thing for students to understand about this conflict, the speaker replied, “In my opinion, students should make every effort to understand the truth, the truth about what is really happening… in Ukraine, what other countries think about this situation, (and) how they react.” It’s clear that this appeal to Brewster’s students was not in vain. Model UN’s Security General Jasmine Cabral said, “I think it was great to be able to learn from someone directly affected….I feel like with the news sometimes you tend to forget there’s actual people living this, so it’s grounding to be reminded of the truth.”
This presentation helped students gain perspective on the ongoing conflict and it helped educate them on an incredibly difficult topic that affects all of us on the world stage. Some ways to aid those in Ukraine are to donate to organizations contributing to humanitarian aid such as the Come Back Alive fund and write letters to our local politicians about the increasingly serious situation in Ukraine.
We’d like to thank our Ukrainian speaker for taking the time to speak with us and we wish them all the best and safety in the future. Our gratitude to Thomas Mullane for organizing this educational event.