Andriy Levytskyi and Lyudmyla Kryzhanovska are graduates of Ukrainian Catholic University. They got married a few years ago and are raising two sons. They both work in social business. Andriy is the founder of the social furniture workshop Woodluck, while Lyudmyla is the founder of the charitable organization Promprylad.Renovation. Read their stories BELOW.

Andriy Levytskyi graduated from the UCU bachelor’s program in history in 2008. He eventually earned a master’s degree in history and completed a certificate program at the UCU Business School. In 2016, he founded the social furniture workshop WoodLuck. Woodluck gives a chance at a new life to people recovering from alcohol and narcotics addiction and those who have returned from the war. They prepare furniture on request. At the start of the full-scale invasion, the team of the workshop got together and reformatted their work to help the army.

 

“We did what we know how to do best. At the request of the city council and regional council, we prepared anti-tank ‘hedgehogs’ [obstacles]. Then we sent them to the Kharkiv Region, the border with Belarus, etc. We had 10 to 12 welding points which were working 15 hours per day,” said Andriy.

 

The social workshop also prepared furniture for shelters for internally displaced persons in the Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Zaporizhzhia regions. The team is now working on furnishing rehabilitation centers for soldiers.

 

“We try to furnish spaces fully, from the kitchen to sleeping areas, cabinets, and common areas. We’re making it so that rehabilitation centers can conveniently and comfortably accept our new veterans. We are also actively developing the theme of inclusivity and are now preparing kitchens for people in wheelchairs.”

 

Lyudmyla also actively works in the civil sector. She is a graduate of the social work program. After graduating from high school, she planned to enter a government educational institution. But a visit to UCU changed her plans: “I ended up at UCU on open house day and saw a culture of relationships, a life with values. I then understood that I only wanted to study here. It was a challenge, since my family was planning on government education at a different institution.”

Lyudmyla is now the director of the charitable organization Promprylad.Renovation, which works at the intersection of four development areas in the Ivano-Frankivsk District: new economics, urban studies, modern art, and education. In her words, the last two years of the fund’s work have centered on supporting the country’s economy. “We do much work with business, because it’s very necessary that the economy is working in wartime. By providing grants and educational and mentoring support, we work with businesses that have relocated because of military actions, providing them with the opportunity to work and develop,” added Lyudmyla.

 

Regarding their studies at UCU, Levytskyi and Kryzhanovska say that the social connections, acquaintances, and opportunities that Ukrainian Catholic University opens are one of its main advantages.

 

“The opportunities that UCU provided, various types of volunteering, made it possible so that during studies there was an opportunity to find your niche, which followed the same values. This was important for me. The first steps of my conscious formation happened at the university. This laid a good foundation for answering the questions: Who am I? What are my values? What’s important? What will I never do? … UCU helped form this core. Those closest to me are, to a lesser or greater extent, connected with the environment of the university. Also, though I finished my studies almost 13 years ago, UCU is an important part of my life,” said Lyudmyla.

 

Andriy added that professors have a significant influence on the formation of the young person at UCU. He recalled some of his professors: Ihor Skochylias, Yaroslav Hrytsak, Jeffrey Wills, and Myroslav Marynovych. “These people laid the principles of trust and responsibility. These are now the founding principles of our social workshop. This surprises people who come from a different environment. From the first day, we give the workers keys to the workshop. We talk about the fact that we trust them and believe that they will be able to cope with their challenges. We can only work together through trust. I understood this even while I was a student.”

 

Throughout his studies, Andriy received financial support from benefactors, and so he understands its value. “Perhaps the sponsors of my scholarship did not even know who Andriy Levytskyi was. But thanks to their support, I was able to become who I am now. And now I can give back what I once received. It’s important to support young students who are starting on their path. After all, proper initiatives are born in an environment with proper values and people,” he emphasized.

 

Ukraine’s defenders are now carrying out the most important work in the world. So it is critically important to support them in various ways, added Lyudmyla. “The love with which Ukrainians defend their loved ones and country, and the humility with which they accept what they need to do, are marvelous things. This is also what UCU teaches us.”