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Teachers from Ukraine Examine Innovative Educational and Non-profit Programming in Northeast Ohio
October 11, 2011

For Immediate Release


Kate Windle, Director of Programs
Tel. 216-566-1088

Maura Shelden
Open World Leadership Center
Tel. 202-707-6197

[Cleveland, Ohio] — Five Ukrainian educators participating in the Open World Program will arrive in Cleveland on Friday, October 14th to begin a week long informational program focusing on best practices in secondary schools and non-profit organizations. The delegation, consisting of middle and high school teachers (many of which also work in the non-profit sector) will meet with various educational and non-profit leaders in the Cleveland area and visit various area innovative schools and organizations.

The Council of International Programs USA (CIPUSA) a 56-year-old international exchange program based in Cleveland will host the delegation. Managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, Open World is designed to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and the countries of Eurasia and the Baltic States by developing a network of leaders in the region who have gained significant, firsthand exposure to America’s democratic, accountable government and free-market system.

The visiting delegates are:
o Ms. Valentyna Balbekova is an English & German Teacher at Magnet School 45, a secondary school. She also serves as Project Manager for,“The Unity for the Future”, a non-profit organization focusing on gender policy and women’s rights.
o Ms. Lesya Chepka is the Deputy Director for Instruction & Character Education at the Smila Job Training Center for High School Students.
o Ms. Olena Melnyk is an English Language Teacher at Lutsk School #5, a secondary school. She also serves as the Head of the Oblast NGO of Parents of Children with Down Syndrome & Other Disabilities.
o Ms. Oksana Moshenets is an English & French Teacher at Poltava Specialized School #3, a secondary school.
o Ms. Lesya Pasichnyk is an English & Ukrainian Teacher at Cherkasy School, #8, a secondary school. She also serves as the Project Coordinator for “Young Cherkashchyna, an advocacy group focused on gender equality and women’s rights.
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o Ms. Natalya Uchen is the Open World Facilitator that will be traveling with the delegation to Cleveland.

The Open World delegation is scheduled to visit a variety of sites and organizations including:

• Avon Lake City Schools
• Citizens Leadership Academy
• Cuyahoga Community College
• Hard Hatted Women
• Montessori High School at University Circle
• New Tech West High School (Cleveland Metropolitan School District)
• Senator Sherrod Brown’s Office
• Social Advocates for Youth (SAY) Program at Bellefaire JCB
• Taras Shevchenko School of Ukrainian Studies
• TRECA Digital Academy
• Ukraine Museum-Archives
• Welcome House

Home stays in Bay Village, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights & Lakewood will allow the Open World delegates to experience American family life. They will also take part in several cultural and community activities during their time in Cleveland.

The Open World Leadership Center has awarded a grant to CIPUSA to administer this and similar exchanges in 2011. CIPUSA affiliate offices in Chicago, Columbus and Kalamazoo are also hosting Open World programs this year in collaboration with CIPUSA.

The U.S. Congress established Open World in 1999 to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and Russia. In 2003, Congress made all post-Soviet states eligible for the program. Thanks to Open World, some 16,500 current and future Eurasian leaders have experienced American civil society and have been exposed to new ideas and practices that they can adapt for use in their own work. Open World also promotes partnerships and continued communications between delegates and their American hosts and professional counterparts. Open World currently operates exchanges for political and civic leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

For more information, please contact Kate Windle of CIPUSA at 216-566-1088 or Maura Shelden, Open World Public Affairs Officer at 202-707-6197. For more information on CIPUSA visit For more information on Open World, please visit

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