Local school hosts benefit concert for Ukrainian students who settled in Philadelphia

A Philadelphia performing arts school hosted a fundraiser Thursday night for Ukrainian students who need help getting to school after fleeing their war torn homeland and settling in the area. 

"With Love To Ukraine, a benefit performance by children for children" took place at String Theory Charter School on the 1600 block of Vine Street. 

The concert included young students performing pieces from Uranian composers, including David Kozyrkov who fled his homeland two months ago. 

"I absolutely love this school," Kozyrkov said. "This is the school that welcomed me from Ukraine."

Iryna Mazur organized the even and is an honorary consul of Ukraine in Philadelphia. She became emotional when discussing the pieces the young students selected to perform. 

"I almost cried because they selected beautiful pieces by Ukrainian composers and it shows to me how much Ukraine means to them," Mazur said. 

The main goal of the fundraiser was to help cover transportation costs for the students whose families settled in Northeast Philadelphia, but have to get to school in Center City. 

A GoFundMe campaign titled "School bus for newly arrived Ukrainian children" has been started with a goal of raising $70k.

The Ukrainian Federation of America in Jenkintown helped sponsor Thursday's concern. 

"There are a lot of programs that we do for afterschool programs, and we have people who are tutoring the children and English as a foreign language as well," Zenia Chernyk said. 

Kozyrkov's grandmother is still in Ukraine and his father is in the military helping refugees in the eastern part of the country. He is eager to one day return to his homeland. 

"As soon as the situation gets better because I am a Ukrainian and I'm proud of my nation," Kozyrkov said.