“On The Road” in Novoyavorivsk, Ukraine

If you were living in the United States in 1967, you might have watched a program called “On The Road” hosted by journalist Charles Kurault. The premis of this program was that you can find stories no matter where you are, from the largest city to the most rural farm.

It was especially educational to me because I have always been interested in traveling and meeting new people.  Charles Kurault seemed to have a magical talent for seeing the ordinary, mundane or seemingly random subjects as interesting.  He would interview ordinary folks and leave us with a new idea, viewpoint or understanding of his subject

Most of us live in a place that we take for granted, and not a place that most people would find interesting.  I grew up less than 30 miles from one of the old 7 Wonders of the World, Niagara Falls; and if you had surveyed my  high school graduation class, I would  bet that less than 25% had visited the Falls, or crossed the Peace Bridge to Canada.

In Scotland, a local resident once told me that she was always surprised at the things visitors would photograph. Things she sees on a daily basis had become mundane, ordinary and not of much interest any longer.

This month I am in the town of Novoyavorivsk (No/vo/yar/isk), Ukraine and the students from the Lingua English language school where I am volunteering were caught off guard when I asked them to tell me about their town.  Many of the students thought it was boring, nothing of interest here!

So, a challenge was presented to the older students in 3 classes.  Topics were assigned to pairs of students and they were required to write a paragraph about their topic and were also encouraged to support it with photos.  Naturally the reaction was surprise and a bit of anxiety about how to accomplish the task.  They were to interview people for information, research on line and take photos where appropriate. Could there actually be interesting things here in their town?

They were given less than one week to finish the project and at the end most of them admitted that they enjoyed the activity found things about their town that they did not know and now had new insight about Novoyavorivsk. What follows are the paragraphs and photos done by the students at the Lingua English language school.

The first question I asked the class was ” did you know that your city is the newest city in the country of Ukraine”?  Answer: No!  So two girls were assigned to find out the history of this new city, population, who lives here, what do they do, why was the city established in this location and any other interesting things about your town.  Here is their report with photos.

NOVOYAVORIVSK, UKRAINE:. Novoyaorivsk was built because in our regions deposits of sulfur were found and they wanted to build a factory; but, the workers hadn’t any place to live so they decided to build a town.

S70927-215650(1)We are located about 45 minutes west of the oblast’s administrative centre of Lviv. The town is located on a major road that ends on the Polish border and continues east on the E40 to Lviv.

S70927-220252(1)The town was founded in 1965 as a worker’s settlement called Jantarne but in 1969 it was renamed Novoyavorivsk which translates to New Yavoriv.

S70927-215857(1)We have a population of almost 40,000 people, many young families, and people who work in nearby Lviv and on the Polish border which is only 30 kilometres west.

Written by: Lidia 12 years and Viktoria 12 years

Note: the sulfur mine was closed many years ago and the land flooded, which now provides a very large and deep recreational lake in the forested area.

Most cities will have a street or two or more named after some person of fame or fortune or political standing and this town is no different; so, two of the boys were given the task of finding out why the main street was called Stepan Bandera.

STEPAN BANDERA STREET: Ukrainian Stepan Bandera was born on the 1st of January 1909 in the village of Old Uhryniv, east of Novoyavorivsk and Lviv. He was a patriot; and on the 15th of September in 1941 the Gestapo arrested him and he became a prisoner; because on the thirteenth of June, 1941, Ukranians declared an independent Ukraine state. He was imprisoned for 18 years he died on the 15th of October 1959 in Munich. The UPA  has got a flag.   The flag has two colours, red and black. The red colour symbolises freedom and the black colour symbolises death.  Written by  Andrew 11 and Taras 11.

Note: former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko awarded him the highest state honour “Hero of Ukraine”.


THE ICE PALACE: The ice arena is the most modern in the Lviv region. It was opened in 2009. It is really one of the most interesting places in the city worth visiting.

5555ba7a39066In the last five years they created a promising hockey team “Helytski Levy” and a circle of figure skating for children. The figure skating head is a famous woman from Armenia, Suzanna Frensivna Hechatryen.   She isn’t only a coach who teaches children figure skating; but, behind her is a well-known hockey team “Helytski Levy” that she has taught to stand firmly on the ice.

She has taught children for 5 years in Ukraine.  During that time she managed to teach 150 children from the age of 3 years. According to her,  “it wasn’t easy to show 10 children how to stand rightly on the ice”.

image-0-02-05-9c96c58d594f400702eb3ab82e59a1d8218f57139658bdb979fac3469cc326f5-V-1Talking to her you’ll understand how much she likes her profession. She said “if I had a chance to move back to the past I would have started working as a teacher of ice arts”.

She was nominated as the best coach 2017 and has a lot of awards for her given work. She has worked in both Armenian and Ukrainian cities. Mrs. Suzanna confirmed that she feels more confident on the ice than on the earth.

Of course,  before every show she has some little problems like a damaged suit or a cold but in spite of everything her shows are brilliant and exciting. We understood she is really professional in her business and sure in the future careers of her students.

image-0-02-05-ec87d7e368e0e756e961227396fcac2ef91ee748d58e6d008b14f0bdc98491cd-VThe ice arena is really one of the biggest in Lviv region you can see the large number of people on the ring in the winter and autumn.  A lot of people at the age from 14 to 20 spend their evenings there.  You can also rent the skates or bring your own.  When if you are the first time on the rink you can be taught to stand on the ice by special people right away.

Written by  Julia 13 and  Tanea 14

SYDOR DIANA: This is a School of Arts it has classes twice a week. I go to art classes here.  I like to draw animals.

IMG_5975-1There are many boys and girls which have classes with me.

IMG_5976On the first floor there is a concert hall we have a performance once a year.


THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC: the musical school is very beautiful in Novoyavorivsk.  It was built by Oleksandr Gabocan.


In the school students learn to play the violin, guitar, piano and some other instruments. I very much like the musical school.

Written by Stas, 11

SONGFEST: Moloda Halchyna International SONGFEST has been held for the last 25 years from July 7th to the 12th.  In 2017 the international songfest was held in the city of Novoyavorivsk.

image-0-02-05-787ef5b3bcd5d155a19fa8c4b1ebbb2b024da420fa7a95a35a0d4d767c6a768e-VPerformers came from Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Moldavia, the Georgian Republic, Poland, Estonia, Armenia, and many other countries. Representatives of Ukraine were Natalia Buchynska; Honored Singer of Ukraine, Tina Karol, plus  Katerina Burginsky and Natalka Karpa.

image-0-02-05-da007c5d46aa13827217b5c9675a922d12f752cb2f3fcc509b7ab6e65d08ba98-VThis year the Grand Prix was won by two participants Katarina Sychewska and the group Acapella Mordent from Ivano Frankivsk region of Ukraine. Written by: Yana 11

JOHA MANUFACTURERS:. JOHA is a Danish factory. Its founder is Michael Fzolund Johanson. Joha has its affiliates in Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Denmark. The first and only affiliate in Ukraine is Novoyavorivsk. It was founded in 20 February, 2001 and there are nearly 300 employees.image-0-02-05-97392774d50b4280811a1ae5aa1b5a0c520aaa93d3412beb1e2e62f747e68f86-VJoha producers clothes for teenagers, children and babies. we cannot buy these products in Ukraine because these clothes go to the export market to Germany, in the main warehouse, and then are sent to stores in Europe.  A piece of clothing made in Novoyavorivsk for 3 euros can be sold in Britain for more than 40 euros. Joha established their factory here because of the cheap labor available in Ukraine.                       Written by: Anna 14 and Yana 14

GALICIAN LIONS HOCKEY TEAM:. In autumn of 2009 Novoyavorivsk opened Hockey Club Galician Lions. This is a very popular game all over the world.

20170916_171118 At the moment the hockey training is involving 150 children aged 5 to 16 years old. Starting from 2017 Hockey Club Galician Lions was invited to participate in the International Junior Hockey League. (Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Austria, Estonia) this is not a complete list of all competing countries visited by our hockey players.20170916_171022Galician Lions return from games with Victory. They took prize places. We are proud of the Galician Lion team.

Written by Ilona 11, Ann 12, and Sofia 11.

BIATHLON: the Ukrainian biathlon team of small town Novoyavorivsk was not famous for such times, but was founded 26th December 1979. It became famous with their championship in 2007 (Vitaliy Koshushoke   and Vitaliy Kilchitskiy).


The first impression of the sports centre is not very good because Yantar is small and old; but, inside you can find a swimming pool, sports hall, sauna and shooting hall. In the directors study it is warmer than the gym.

IMG_2764_1485872985Roman Poluga is the best headmaster of the Yantar because he has done everything that he could do to this gym, the best way he could.

Без названия (1)Без названияNow you can learn how to ski, shoot and become a champion. There are also groups other than biathlon like athletics, football and jumping.

It is sad but the financing is bad. Roman Poluga must pay his own money to make this Sports Centre comfortable.

I want to thank Petro Shypka about the information.

Written by Illya, 11

. . . And, most communities have monuments …

IMG-df3ec85398089f3135dedfe3faada2f3-VThe monument to Taras Shevchenko was solemnly opened on July 12th 1997 with participation of a large number of people of the Greek Catholic, and Orthodox communities in the city; headed by their rectors, representatives of public and political organisations, city and district authorities.

Taras Hryhorovich Shevchenko was born February 25th (or March 9th new style calendar) in the year 1814 in Morintsy, Ukraine and died February 26th (March 10th new style calendar) 1861 St. Petersburg, Russia. He was the foremost Ukrainian poet, prose writer, painter and playwright of the 19th century and, a major figure of the Ukrainian national revival.

Taras Shevchenko was a man of universal talent. All his life and creative work was dedicated to the people of Ukraine. The poet would dream about the time when his country would be a free sovereign state where the Ukrainian language, culture and history would be highly valued and the people would be happy and free.

Born a serf  Shevchenko was freed in 1838 while a student at the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. His first collection of poems entitled Kobzar (1840) expressed the historicism and the folkloristic interests of the Ukrainian Romantics; but his poetry soon moved away from nostalgia for Cossack life,  to a more sombre portrayal of Ukrainian history particularly in the long poem “Haidamaks” (1841).

IMG-5f416ab2386dca05b3b1a58e69d2979d-VMonument to the “Heavenly Hundred” opened on 29th August 2016. During 18 to 22 February 2017 Ukraine honored the memory of the Euromaidan protesters killed three years ago in the bloodiest clashes, in Kiev. Protesting against government corruption, activists called the “Heavenly Hundred”… the name containing an allusion to the Kozak XVII century army (Sotnia) were assembled at the Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence square) to protest, where eventually, more than 100 unarmed people were killed.

IMG-b57881c74f1f821f48abedb8c360be70-VThe monument to Ivan Mazepa was solemnly established August 24th 1997. A military, political and state figure hetman (title given to military figure) of the Zaporozhian army. Born March 20th, 1639 in the village of Mazepyntsi in the Kyiv District he was the head of a Cossack Left-bank state and the entire Dnieper, Ukranine.

Ivan Stepanovych Mazapa was awarded the title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1707 for his efforts in the Holy League.

He was from a noble, notoriously right-bank Ukrainian family.  He was well educated finishing at Kyiv-Mohyla College and Jesuitical college in Warsaw. He also studied for 3 years in Germany, Italy, France, and Holland where he received an education in cultural and political affairs. He also spoke several foreign languages.

His national and political convictions were settled during his service at the time  of hetmen Petro Doroshenko and Ivan Samoylovych who had programs on renaissance of an independent and saborna (unified) Ukrainian state.

He was the first Ukrainian hetman who was steadily holding the mace during almost 22 years. His period was marked by economic advancement of Ukraine.  It stabilised social situations and created an upsurge of church life and culture.

Written by Anastasia 12  and Photos by Alya S.

Thanks to all the students who worked on this project.  Well Done!!!

If I missed anyone, please resend and I will edit it into the blog.

NOTE: some minor changes were made for ease of reading.