RE: Canada Ukraine Parliamentary Program Greets President Poroshenko’s Visit by Oleh Naumenko (Oct. 2, 2014 New Pathway issue)
In an otherwise excellent article outlining President Petro Poroshenko’s visit to Canada’s Parliament, Oleh Naumenko, one of this year’s Canada Ukraine Parliamentary Program (CUPP) interns, fails to mention, undoubtedly inadvertently, one very salient fact about Canada Ukraine Parliamentary Program .
Namely, the role played by Mr. Ihor Bardyn.
President Poroshenko, in his speech to the House of Commons, rightfully noted the importance of CUPP to Ukraine and gives credit to the so-called Ukrainian diaspora for contributing to its funding and to helping make it a success.
But he failed to mention Bardyn’s critical role in initiating and running this program, which has been educating Ukraine’s next generation of community and political leaders, for over 20 years.
Bardyn has pretty well single-handedly raised over $1,000,000 for the program. It now takes, for example, close to $10,000 to finance one intern.
The Canadian government has been asked formally for funding for this program on several occasions. Though the government helps to facilitate the program, it has yet to provide funding for it.
Even though many would agree that CUPP is the best assistance program to Ukraine originating from Canada – but not financed by the Government of Canada.
Virtually all aspects of CUPP have been designed and are overseen by this dynamic individual, including the selection process, the pre-intern orientation and the organization of cultural and social events as well as contacts with Canada’s Ukrainian Canadian community during the students’ stay in Canada.
In other words, Bardyn’s stamp is visible in all aspects of CUPP.
There simply would be no CUPP without this visionary’s initiative and dedication to this Program.