Ukrainian youth enjoy fun filled day at Edmonton's Snow Valley, far from war

Dozens of teens who fled war-torn Ukraine and are now living in Edmonton enjoyed a bit of sunshine and activities at snow valley Friday. While the outing is meant to be full of fun, it's also meant to help take their minds off what's happening back home. Chris Chacon reports.

From golf to climbing the Aerial Park Tower, and taking part in Whitemud Creek mining, roughly 70 newcomers to Edmonton had a fun filled day at Snow Valley.

“I really like this place, I’m so glad,” Anna Maslii said, who recently fled war-torn Ukraine with her mother.

Back in May, the Canadian Society of Ukrainians from the former Yugoslavia created a program to take newly-arrived Ukrainian youth out to enjoy fun events and activities.

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“The idea of this program is to let kids be kids. It’s not their fault or anything they had to escape, they had to leave their country,” Canadian Society of Ukrainians from the former Yugoslavia volunteer Irena Struk said.

Struck said as a former refugee, she knows what many of these teens are going through.

Just imagine how difficult it is without knowing the language, knowing the culture, knowing the people. You’re here by yourself, you don’t know anybody,” Struk said.

Struk said some have lost loved ones in the war, others have been sent to Canada all alone.

Despite the hardships back in Ukraine, Struk said these events are important.

“They need to be out with friends and just be normal kids and have their childhood,” Struk said.

“They’ve had six months of not being a kid, they’re coming to a strange land, it just means the world to us that we can help them, may be just a have a better day,” Tim Dey, marketing & communications manager at Snow Valley said.

“I love this country, this is my new adventure,” Maslii said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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