YAVORIV, Ukraine-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch and the staff of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine attended a ceremony for the newly renovated school in Starychi, near the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, Oct. 27.
The U.S. Embassy Office of Defense Cooperation organized the dedication ceremony to mark the completion of a $300,000 Humanitarian Assistance project that was funded by European Command.
The renovation project included thermal insulation for the exterior of the building, new windows, an entrance ramp, new bathrooms and locker rooms.
"This project is so much more than just a building renovation," said Yovanovitch. For nearly 320 children, many of whom are here today, this school is a second home and these renovations are going to enable a better learning environment.
The village of Starychi, which is a predominantly military community, has a strong relationship with the IPSC and many of the Ukrainian Soldiers have trained within the compound. Col. Nick Ducich, commander of the Joint Military Group-Ukraine at the IPSC showed his support by attending the ceremony and expressed his appreciation for everyone involved in the project.
"First, I'd like to congratulate the proud parents, grandparents, teachers and staff for their individual and collective efforts," he said. "They were the driving force in singling out this Starychi School as the best location in Western Ukraine for this United States sponsored project."
Renovating the school is one more opportunity to build strong relationships and trust between the two countries.
"These renovations are a testament to our collective support for families who have sacrificed so much in the defense of Ukraine and the defense of freedom," said Yovanovitch. "I think it is all of our hope that the completion of this project will mark the continuation of a long and fruitful relationship."
After the ceremony, Yovanovitch toured the IPSC and met with JMTG-U leaders to discuss the progress that has been made training Ukrainian ground forces.
JMTG-U is a combined effort of U.S., Lithuanian, Polish and Canadian forces to help create an enduring and sustainable training capacity within the Ukrainian Army. The mission if focused on direct training in the near-term while helping to build training capacity quickly through the consolidation and resourcing of dedicated Ukrainian training cadre.