HELPING THE HELPERS: COIL WELCOMES UKRAINE BORDER COUNTRY DELEGATES FOR PROGRAMS ON EDUCATION AND MENTAL HEALTH
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Congressional Office for International Leadership (COIL) launches its programs for Poland and Romania this week with the arrival of eight delegations totaling 39 delegates from Moldova, Poland, and Romania for its first-ever programming on mental health, second-language curriculum, and integrating refugees/displaced persons. This program is designed to “help the helpers” by providing civil leaders and educators with resources and experience to help them better respond to the cross-border human catastrophe caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As Ukrainians flee their homes to neighboring countries, these Open World program participants have emerged as leaders in their communities. In the United States, they will share their experience in fostering inclusive environments for refugees and displaced persons in their communities and take home new best practices.
COIL Executive Director Jane Sargus sums up, “Through the Open World program, we can engage the Ukrainians providing aid and support to the refugee communities outside of the country’s borders. Also, we can double our efforts in the countries bordering Ukraine who need the opportunity our program offers to manage the refugee crisis both effectively and humanely.”
During their visit to Washington, D.C., the delegations will discuss the mental health crisis in Ukraine and border countries. Delegates will take part in a group and experiential workshop featuring presenters such as TechnoTherapy Founder and CEO Vikram Surya Chiruyolu and Dr. Orna Goldwater of the D.C. Psychological Association Board of Directors. Learning to cope with secondary stress and trauma will be of particular focus. Delegates will then travel to host communities in Akron, OH; Albany, NY; Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH; Huntsville, AL; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, MO; and Norfolk, VA for specialized local programming.
Since the beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian War, COIL has made a point to continue to engage Ukrainians both inside and outside of Ukraine. COIL looks forward to continuing these mutually beneficial exchanges between the United States and the countries of Moldova, Poland, and Romania to promote greater security, democracy, and prosperity together.
Through its Open World program, COIL has brought nearly 30,000 global leaders to the U.S. since its inception in 1999. The program pioneered person-to-person international engagement and provides an immersive experience with delegates' direct professional counterparts, covering a broad spectrum of policy themes rooted within communities across the United States.