Refugees displaced by the war in Ukraine are finding support at Christel House DORS, the adult high school in Indianapolis. “Students transitioning to life in the United States have connected with DORS after finding we are one of the few English Language Learner programs in the area with Russian speaking staff,” says Noel Wilson, Principal. Borys and his wife Albina appreciate how welcoming the staff has been. “I love this school, these people, the school environment,” he says.
Borys and Albina had a good life in their home outside Kyiv in Ukraine. Then the Russian army invaded their country. “We stayed in our house as long as possible,” Borys shares. “Two armies stayed near our house – 500 meters away, with helicopters, airplanes, and tanks.” Surrounded, Borys and Albina took to a cramped, underground shelter. “For one week we were under the ground with our neighbors and their small children, huddled together” says Albina shaking her head. They escaped to western Ukraine after their home was bombed. “Our daughter has lived here in the United States with her husband and our two grandchildren,” says Borys. Albina traveled to the U.S. while Borys stayed behind, volunteering to find homes for displaced Ukrainians. “I would call my husband, I was crying,” she shares. “Our life was broken. We don’t have a job, no money, no house.” Borys, who had served in the Ukrainian army for over 30 years, was granted the opportunity to leave due to a disability. The couple reunited, moving to Indianapolis to be with their daughter and her family. “Our first opinion of Indiana,” says Borys smiling, “it’s a very good place!” A week after arriving, they enrolled at DORS. “Albina and Borys attend school daily working to obtain their Indiana Core 40 high school diplomas,” says Wilson. “Here at DORS, we enjoy welcoming and learning from students from many countries around the world, like Borys and Albina.” The couple are hopeful. “We want to be useful here in America,” says Borys. “In America we are together with our family, our children, our grandchildren.”