In Ukraine, many citizens have been working abroad, both legally and illegally, to help their families survive financially. While remittances from abroad help families, there are many Ukrainian children who haven’t seen their mothers for a long time. Stryi Branch Library for Children No. 6, Stryi, Lviv region, uses computer technology and Internet to reunite local families whose members are employed abroad through its program called Communication Across Borders.
Stryi is an average town with 60,000 dwellers. However, every fourth dweller is currently out of Ukraine. Parents, children and spouses are at home.
“Hearing her voice is heart-warming and comforting,” says Rostyk, a teenager who got the opportunity to communicate with his mother using Skype at the public library.
It was not easy to organize the program. Librarians had to learn new technologies. Then an advertising campaign was launched to create awareness about the program. Currently, the library is the most easily accessible institution for all Stryi residents.
Thanks to its partnership with a local NGO, the library also provides its patrons with the legal and psychological counselling services, which are of crucial importance for the labor migrants and their relatives.
The project became possible with the help of Bibliomist. The Bibliomist program is helping Ukrainian libraries better serve their communities through a countrywide system of public Internet access in libraries.
Details about the program are available here(in Ukrainian).