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Education Scholarship stories 1

Education is the key to transforming communities and reducing poverty, suffering, and injustice worldwide. Yet higher education in developing countries like Ukraine and Moldova is cost-prohibitive.

HART’s Scholarship Fund is providing disadvantaged young people in this region with the opportunity to access quality education that will equip them to build a future of hope, prosperity, and dignity.

You can help us raise a new generation of responsible, well-educated leaders with strong Christian values who will transform Ukraine and Moldova one day.

Read the stories below from young people who are recipients of HART’s Scholarship Fund.

Andriy – future mechanic

“I always loved bikes,” says Andriy. “Not only to ride them but to fix and modify and do all kinds of mechanical work around them. Throughout my childhood, I could see myself going to University and studying mechanics, so one day I’d be able to open my own car repair shop and help my family.”

In 2014, every explosion, bombing, and shooting in Mariupol slowly killed Andriy’s dreams of a better future, good education, and happy life.

When the war started in Eastern Ukraine, Andriy’s family with six kids fled to the Western part of the country. Life for refugees is a huge challenge and trial, especially for a big family that must pull the pieces of broken hopes together and start life all over.

However difficult this period has been for this family, they never passed up an opportunity to lend a helping hand to others in need. Tetyana, a teacher at their school was touched when the parents and all six children volunteered to help renovate a classroom at the local school.

She asked them why they would so readily agree to spend time helping others when they needed help themselves. The father humbly replied: “We want to teach our kids that no matter what happens in your life, you have to respond to the needs of those around you, for this is the teaching of Christ.”

God is faithful to pour His blessings on those who bless others. Thanks to the HART Education fund, Andriy got a chance to make his dream come true! He became a student at the Rivne National Transport College in the faculty of Auto-Mechanics.

Andriy’s message to HART supporters: “Thanks to you, as the oldest son in the family, I will now be able to get a job and help my parents and younger siblings.”

Anna – future lawyer

“When I was a child, I dreamt of becoming an artist or a designer. But one event two years ago turned my family’s life upside down and made me change my decision.”

Anna grew up living with her parents and grandmother in a small apartment in Lutsk. In 2018, her father tragically passed away.

Sadly, after his death, the family learned that he had accumulated a debt of US$7,500. Apparently, he had opened a credit account without telling his wife, and now the bank wanted his debt repaid. The family was devastated by this news which compounded the pain of losing their father.

“It was during this time in my life I decided to become a lawyer,” Anna says. “I realized how much pain and injustice there is in the world. And so many times there is nobody to help people fight for their rights.”

Anna is exceptionally talented and gifted in many ways; she likes photography, art, sports. She even plays as a goalkeeper on a Christian women’s floorball team (that HART also supports).

Without the HART Scholarship fund, it would be impossible for the family to pay for Anna’s education. Her mother’s salary was barely enough for food and clothes, and their grandmother’s entire pension is used to pay the utility bills. Thanks to HART, Anna is now a student at the Eastern European College of Technology, Business, and Law in the city of Lutsk.

“I know that when I grow up, I’m the one who is going to pay off my father’s debt,” Anna admits. “I am ready to take this responsibility, however as terrifying it may sound. But I believe that with the blessing of the Lord, and with the priceless help of HART donors, I will get an education, find a good job and not only pay the debt one day but also help other people to fight for justice, as my family now does.”

Elizabeth – future IT specialist

“When I read the parable about talents, I realize that it is a huge responsibility and privilege to grow and excel in whatever gifts God has granted you with, glorifying the Almighty and serving others with your work,” says Elizabeth.

Being one of five children in an ordinary family in Ukraine means lowering one’s expectations of getting a good education someday. Elizabeth always knew that no matter how badly she wanted to become an IT specialist, there was little chance of this happening, given the family’s dire financial situation.

To make matters worse, her father injured his leg severely and, as a result, lost his job. Then, her mother had no choice but to quit her job to take care of her husband. During this challenging season, the family barely survived on US$180/mo of social welfare to support seven people.

However, Elizabeth’s application for a HART Scholarship was approved, and she now has a chance to help her family break the cycle of poverty. She is determined to study hard and plans to find a good job to help her parents and to help her younger siblings get higher education too. Elizabeth believes that she will serve in the local church’s media ministry using the knowledge she has learned at University.

“Information Technologies (IT) is an industry of the future,” she exclaims. “Not only is it important in general, but for the Church and Evangelical movement. The Internet and IT give us tools to reach out to people globally, even though they weren’t invented intentionally for this purpose.”

Elizabeth continues, “It’s the same as the Roman roads that Apostle Paul would use to reach people and tell them about the saving love of Christ two thousand years ago, we can use IT to bring more people to God in modern days. I’m thankful to HART for the privilege of learning how to use these tools wisely.”

Anya – future journalist

“In January 2015, a bomb blew up next to our house in Mariupol (South-East of Ukraine). That evening, I realized what a real war is like. It smells like fear and tastes like hunger. My family – me, my parents, and my sister – had to flee to a nearby village, which was a little bit safer.

Leaving our home and not knowing whether it would still be there when we came back was heartbreaking. Moreover, we were almost broke financially. We praise God for HART’s Child Sponsorship project, and our sponsors, who have been faithfully helping us stay afloat for the past five years.

And then, at the beginning of 2020, terrible news tore our lives and dreams apart. My father was diagnosed with brain cancer and the doctors gave him three months to live. Those were the most difficult three months of my life. To see the dearest person in your life slowly die is so painful. We prayed that God would heal him, but the Lord decided to take my father home, and in a couple of months he passed away.”

Anya always wanted her father to be proud of her, wanted him to see her become a successful journalist, and help others reveal the truth. With her dad’s death, all hopes and aspirations for higher education were shattered.

“I could have given up on my dreams,” Anya writes. “But I decided to trust God and apply to the University because I know that my father would have been glad to see me pursue my goal and do what is right.”

Thanks to a HART scholarship, Anya became a student at Mariupol State University studying journalism and social communications. One day, she will be telling people the truth about the terrible war in the East of Ukraine and fighting for justice as a successful journalist.

These stories of dreams being realized was made possible because of people in HART’s community like YOU!

Together, we CAN change the world – one heart at a time.