FRACKVILLE, Pa. – “Hello everybody, it is Friday, I am right here in Frackville, Pennsylvania, nonetheless,” mentioned Matthew Kenenitz into his iPhone.
The Schuylkill County native and professor provides his 120 college students in Ukraine this message each day.
“All the college students are volunteering their time for the conflict efforts. Both for humanitarian assist, or working with translations for information companies, or getting the phrase on the market,” he mentioned.
For the previous three years the 40-year-old has taught English at Ukrainian Catholic College in Lviv. He returned to Frackville in February for what he thought was a short lived go to.
“The College proper now could be a hub for refugees. Lots of people all through Ukraine reside within the collegium there,” he mentioned.
It is a half a world away with a six-hour time distinction. Kenenitz nonetheless teaches. His first on-line class is 6 a.m. Pennsylvania time with about half of the scholars.
“A number of air sirens relying on the place persons are. Both hunkered down beneath someplace or in a bomb shelter for 4 to 5 hours in a single day and too drained to get to class,” he mentioned.
He says the toll is each bodily and psychological for college kids, particularly for one whose household fled to Spain.
“A household from Kharkiv resides of their home in Lviv. And it looks like another person resides her life,” he mentioned.
Kenenitz says others have fled to Turkey, France, or Romania.
In Frackville he has led an area humanitarian effort by means of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church. He desires to ultimately return to donate the gadgets.
Till then it is a lesson in empathy as he can solely educate on-line and ship messages of goodwill by means of social media.
He says his time in Ukraine has been the happiest of his life. He calls the folks there resolute in successful the conflict and won’t be oppressed.