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Zapytiv Community Development Fund

At the end of 2003, Mychailo Boyko and his children Olena and Bohdan from the Tidewater area of Virginia, and Lieda from Port Charlotte, Florida, were in consultation with the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, with the desire to bequeath a lasting legacy – in the form of a modern library – to the picturesque village of Zapytiv, which is located 18 miles northeast of Lviv in the Kamianka Buzka raion. 

Soon thereafter, the Zapytiv Community Development Fund was created.  Sadly, Mychailo Boyko passed away in 2005 and it would be up to his children to ultimately make his dream a reality.

Zapytiv Fund Zapytiv Fund

With donations from the Boyko estate, friends and family nearing $137,000 over the course of four years, the Foundation dedicated the entire sum to the construction of the library. 

The new Zapytiv library was officially opened in December 2007.

The land for the library was donated by the Zapytiv village council under the leadership of Mayor Yuriy Fedeyko.  A local builder, Taras Nenchuk, was selected to lead the construction.  Iryna Lasowska, a woman of many talents from the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Lviv office, applied her considerable organizational skills to keep the construction on track.  

The library still needs resources like computers, books, and journals.  Your financial support for the Zapytiv Community Development Fund will help to equip the Zapytiv library with modern resources.

 


A BOYKO FAMILY GIFT FOR THE VILLAGE OF ZAPYTIV
By Chrystia Sonevytska, Special Projects Coordinator, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation
January 24, 2008

Boyko Family FundGifts seem to be ever-bountiful at this time of year.  As we know, however, some gifts are more special than others.

This past October on the Feast of Pokrova, I was privileged to be present – along with 200 other people – at the blessing of a newly-completed library in the picturesque village of Zapytiv, which is located 18 miles northeast of Lviv in the Kamianka Buzka raion (county).  A very special gift, indeed!

This gift to the citizens of Zapytiv was made possible by the late Mychailo Boyko, who left this village in 1944, only to return for a brief visit after Ukraine gained its independence.  

Mychailo, with his wife Irena, left Zapytiv during the WWII spring offensive, leaving behind his three siblings and parents, Andrij and Anna, whom he would never see again as they would be later deported and perish in the Far East Gulag.  

The young Boyko family would eventually reach the United States and reside for many years in New Haven, CT.

With his return to Ukraine, Mychailo Boyko possessed an ever-growing desire to aid in the development of his native village.   Remembering his own difficulties as a poor peasant child, he wanted to repay the support and kindness that he encountered as a youth, while attending the Theological Academy in Lviv, from the then-rector Josyf Slipyj.  Always thirsty for knowledge, always inquisitive, he dreamt of a library in his native Zapytiv so that others would have access to the world of knowledge, adventure and learning.

By the end of 2003, Mychailo and his children Olena and Bohdan from the Tidewater area of Virginia, and Lieda from Port Charlotte, Florida, would be in consultation with the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, with the desire to bequeath a lasting legacy to Zapytiv.  The Foundation’s advantage in this endeavor, beyond the fact that it is a charitable organization, is that it possesses a network throughout Ukraine and, most importantly, an office in Lviv , which would help in the implementation of the project.

Soon thereafter, the Zapytiv Community Development Fund was created.  Sadly, Mychailo Boyko passed away in 2005 and it would be up to his children to ultimately make his dream a reality.

With donations from the Boyko estate, friends and family nearing $137,000 over the course of four years, the Foundation dedicated the entire sum to the construction of the library. 

The land for the library was donated by the Zapytiv village council under the leadership of Mayor Yuriy Fedeyko.  A local builder, Taras Nenchuk, was selected to lead the construction. Iryna Lasowska, a woman of many talents from the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Lviv office, applied her considerable organizational skills to keep the construction on track.  

The raion administration officially opened the library on the Feast of St. Nicholas, promising to provide an additional resource person and other personnel as needed. 

A project of this scope presents many challenges, but the fact that a new library now stands and that Olena, the village librarian of almost 20 years, now has a modern building with plumbing and heat (for 20 years she did without both), gives the residents of this community great pride and those, who saw the project through, great satisfaction.

Of course, the library will also become a center where people of all ages, but especially the community’s youth, can meet for meetings and activities. 

To bring the library to even greater modernity, hopes abound for the acquisition of some of the essential resources for the second floor interior, such as, six computers for the computer center, numerous periodicals, and books on tape or disk.  Librarian Olena’s dream?  A Xerox machine!

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, will gladly accept tax-deductible contributions earmarked for the Zapytiv library.  The Foundation encourages your support!

Upon learning about the need for a copier, the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council and its president, E. Morgan Williams, have pledged a donation toward this procurement. 

As another example of philanthropy-in-action, Washington, DC-area resident Teresa Ben, whose father-in- law was the director of the school in Zapytiv until his death at the hands of the Soviets in the 1940s, has donated the personal library of her late husband, Constantine Ben, to supplement the existing library collection in Zapytiv.
 
The Zapytiv library, constructed in memory of Andrij and Anna Boyko, will install a commemorative plate when Bohdan, Lieda and Olena with their families visit Zapytiv in June 2008, thus ensuring that the memory of their grandparents, their father, Mychailo, and his lifelong quest for scholarship will be passed on to a new generation of Ukrainians.

NOTE:  If you would like to support the Zapytiv Community Development Fund or provide any other assistance for Ukraine, please contact the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, Attn: John A. Kun, VP/COO, 1701 K Street NW, Suite 903, Washington, DC 20006; telephone: 202-223-2228; fax: 202-223-1224; email: usuf@usukraine.org; website: www.usukraine.org.  

 

 

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