TOUCH Scholarship Program

The Scholarship Program for youth in The TOUCH Project (Take One Ukrainian Child’s Hand) was initiated in 2010. The funds raised through this endeavor help cover the expenses of educational opportunities for learning at a vocational training facility, a university, or through an exchange program. Four or five students have benefitted each year through these scholarships which average from $400-800 per year.

Students in The TOUCH Project are notified when scholarship applications are available. A committee consisting of five individuals reviews the application and makes the final decision. Though the Scholarship Program is relatively new, results are already visible.

One example of the benefits achieved by the scholarship program was the case of Stepan, who grew up in an orphanage outside of Uzhhorod. Students who complete their education at this orphanage often graduate with only a 4th grade education. This young man taught himself English and showed great promise, but opportunities were very limited upon his graduation. In 2010, with a $450 scholarship from this program, Stepan was able to travel to Germany and participate in a vocational training program and also work as a volunteer in a project that helped break down stereotypes regarding Roma (Gypsy) people. Stepan is now working in Uzhhorod in an organization which serves displaced and/or at risk youth in the community.

During 2011, five applicants were awarded scholarships including:

1. A young woman named Maria, who lives in a home for children who have been abandoned or suffer from neglect. Maria used her scholarship to help cover expenses with her courses on book keeping.

2. Liza, who was a recent graduate from an orphanage, applied her scholarship to a vocational training course on sewing.

3. One young man, named Sasha, who had graduated from a public school with 98% Roma population, was awarded a scholarship to help train as a computer operator.

4. Svitlana, a young woman who lost her father in 1999 and her mother in 2000, was able to secure a scholarship to help with her studies in the Economics Department at Transcarpathian State University.

5. Artem, a young man with no parents due to abandonment and death, used his scholarship to attend a university in Michalovtse, Slovakia while studying to become a Social Worker.

Twenty years ago, children and youth with disabilities did not attend the public schools or university in Uzhhorod. Disabilities were regarded as a deterrent to higher education. Buildings were inaccessible and later on, as a few ramps were built, they were often too steep for people using wheelchairs. In addition, financial resources were limited and families with children with disabilities found it too expensive to attend the university. Viktoria, is a very smart woman with cerebral palsy and she desired to receive a higher education. Her mother helped make this dream possible by going to the university with her each morning and coming home with her after classes were finished. With support from her family and funding from this Scholarship Program, she is now one of the few students in a wheelchair attending the Uzhhorod National University. She is excelling in her work and very appreciative of the funding that helped her with this endeavor.

Donations to the Scholarship Program can be made through The TOUCH Project’s umbrella organization, Corvallis-Uzhhorod Sister Cities Association by sending a check to:

Corvallis-Uzhhorod Sister Cities Association (or making it out to “C-USCA” is fine, too)

P.O. Box 176
Corvallis, OR 97339 USA

Please write “TOUCH Scholarships” in the memo. Thank you for considering this program!