Letter to everyone who supports Ukraine
Canada. The country of maple syrup near the US. That is how most people see it, but not me. I saw an opportunity to realize myself, achieve my goals, and make my dreams true.
Several English tests, hours of studying to get good grades, a long visa application process, a year online, and 2-day travel to get to Sydney, Canada. It did not stop me from pursuing my goal. It always felt right, no matter how difficult it was sometimes.
Looking back when I had started applying to universities, some people stood with me and reminded me of what I have done and that there are just a few steps left to get to the end. I am very thankful to them and I always will be. I was hoping to find people like that at Cape Breton University, where I am currently pursuing my studies, and I did.
You do not who the person is until you go through challenges together. There is an accurate saying in Ukrainian about that: “a friend in need is a friend indeed” and after the beginning of the war I received massive support not only from students but also from faculty and staff.
My name is Dariia Pasko and I am the only Ukrainian student at CBU. It has been more than 40 days of the war and no Ukrainian is even thinking of stopping the fight with russia. So do I. I cannot go back home to fight along with my people, but what I can do is to speak up, to be as loud as possible. I am a regular person and a temporary resident in Canada and currently working as an associate editor in Caper Times. I am using this platform to inform the student community about what is going on in Ukraine. Unfortunately, western media does not cover all the important aspects of the war nor what challenges people are exposed to. That is why I am writing about it and telling people in the university what things really look like.
As time goes by and we get used to the thought of the war, people assume that problems and issues disappear. If I am not walking with tears on my face, it does not mean that everything is sorted out, that my family is safe. I took control over my emotions; I stay strong for my family and the whole CBU community so they do not have to worry about me. But every missile and every rocket that falls on Ukraine breaks my heart. What was going on in Bucha is only the beginning of countless war crimes against Ukraine. Every dead soldier, child, and innocent civilian makes me feel desperate and powerless, but I do not have a right to show my feelings in public, because I am living in a peaceful country, where there is no threat of dying under a rocket fire or never seeing your family again; where there are only a few people who understand me.
I cannot put all my feelings into words, but I want to let you know that Ukrainians are fighters by nature and also people who remember and do not remain in debt. Today, I am a student in the country that supported Ukraine and I think they have to keep doing that. Not to feel good about themselves, but as human beings helping other human beings. Except for the fact that war is absolutely awful and devastating, try to think about it a little deeper than the surface. Mothers are burying children with their own hands; some of the friends we will never see again; every call to my family may be the last one; when you hear the alarm you grab a packed backpack and go to a bomb shelter, knowing that you may never be able to return to your house…
CNN or CBC will never tell you what a Ukrainian will. And I can assure you that Ukraine is not just a country in Eastern Europe, but a place that changed todays’ world forever. What I can also assure you is that prosperity is only possible in peace and to make it happen, everyone should stand up. Everyone who has a heart.
Glory to Ukraine. Glory to the Heroes. We will never forget and never forgive.