WALL TOWNSHIP — When Wall resident Kat Grausso retired from teaching English at St. Rose School in Belmar, she was eager for new, enriching adventures. A Google search for volunteer opportunities six months ago drew her to a call for people to teach English to Ukrainian citizens via Zoom.
Now, six months later, Ms. Grausso says she has realized the expansive power of the English language and its capacity to help others imagine a brighter future.
ENGin is a nonprofit organization that pairs Ukrainian youth with English speakers across the world for “free weekly online conversation practice and cross-cultural connection.” Their mission is two-fold — helping young Ukrainians access academic and professional opportunities by improving their English-speaking and intercultural skills and “connecting Ukraine with the world, spurring economic growth and social progress” on a national level.
The organization was founded in 2020 by Ukrainian citizen Katerina Manoff, who relies on donations and volunteer tutors to keep the program running. ENGin now serves 15,000 Ukrainian students with 13,000 English-speaking volunteer tutors and counting. Students hail from every region of Ukraine. Although most are still residing in Ukraine, many have sought refuge outside of their home country — fleeing to countries such as Sweden and Germany.
Ms. Manoff underscored the importance of the program in extending a message of support to Ukrainian citizens who have been impacted by the Russia-Ukraine war, which began on Feb. 24, 2022 when Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops invaded Ukraine from the north, east and south.
“In Ukraine the soldiers are fighting on the front. This is our front and what my team and I can do to help our country,” said Ms. Manoff.
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