Sisters who fled Ukraine are welcomed at RGS as a student and translator

A girl who fled war-torn Ukraine has been offered a place at RGS Worcester with her big sister employed as a translator.

Mariia Lytovchenko, 12, will officially enter The Tything Private School on Monday.

Big sister Polina Oliinyk will also be joining the school after being hired to work as a translator as she speaks English and Ukrainian.

Miss Oliinyk said: “It’s my first day today.

“Everyone has been so nice to me and my sister.

“I’m very happy to help out here and to help others connect within the community and with the folks at RGS.

“I love the work they do here to bring people together.”

Miss Lytovchenko said she really likes it at Worcester as everyone has been so nice and she can’t wait to start a school again on Monday.

From left to right: Mariia Lytovchenko and Polina Oliinyk

On Miss Oliinyk’s first day at RGS Worcester, she helped translate conversations between Ukrainian refugees, host families and school staff as part of their first community welcome event.

The event was a huge success, with around 50 refugees and sponsors gathered over tea, cake and conversation.

The school welcomed all Ukrainian refugees and their host families to create a sense of community in these current times of crisis.

Alongside Miss Lytovchenko, RGS will welcome other Ukrainian pupils to the school next week.

These students cover a wide range of ages, from prep school through sixth grade.

RGS Principal John Pitt said that hosting the community event every other Friday morning and welcoming some students to school is a small way for RGS to support the Ukrainian community.

He discovered that Ukrainian children had excellent computer and math skills and were already learning English quickly.

A couple was present who are hosting a lady who came to England alone.

They said, “We have a single lady, she’s been with us for three weeks.

“She works very hard.

“She took English lessons in St Paul and she loves it.

“She met a range of people there, not just from Ukraine, and it really helped her learn the language.”