Ukrainian exchange student raising support to help her home country

Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 6:08 PM CST
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Hawley, M.N. (Valley News Live) - Daniella Zubareiva is a Ukrainian exchange student in Hawley, M.N. The 16-year-old came to Minnesota eight months ago and couldn’t imagine what would happen back home.

”We just feel anger and pain and sorrow at the same time,” said Zubareiva.

“It’s hard to process through your day when you cannot distract and every 20 seconds you think about that everyone back home is suffering and people are dying and everyone is trying to escape.”

Zubareiva came up with the idea to raise support by selling cookies and t-shirts at her school. Her home town of Mariupol has been constantly under attack from Russian forces as the invasion of Ukraine continues. Basic necessities have been cut off to the citizens living there according to Zubareiva. She also hasn’t heard from her family in over a week.

“My city is in state of crisis because Russian troops have shut down all the food supplies, medicine, water, electricity so at the moment everyone is in a huge state of distress not only because of war, but because they don’t have the right to live basically,” said Zubareiva. “I hope they are doing fine and that they are not suffering, that they are not lacking anything. And that I miss them a lot.”

In addition to raising funds, Zubareiva has been active in informing our communities of what is happening in her home country. This varies from rallies to discussions with her fellow students.

“Lot’s of people ask questions even though sometimes I don’t have the desire to answer them because sometimes my day is tougher than the other one. You have to find a certain way to be polite and also educate them.”

Zubareiva is planning on running the fundraiser on Thursday as well.

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