Seeking Host Families for Ukrainian Open World Delegates

From Friday, December 5 until Saturday, December 20, 2014 Sebastopol World friends will be hosting a delegation of young professionals from our sister city Chyhyryn, Ukraine. The program theme for this delegation will be Social Issues and Services for Women and Children.

We are seeking host families who can provide a bedroom, meals, and transportation to the drop off and pickup locations each day. Carpooling can be arranged. The group will have a full agenda on the weekdays. Guests will spend most evenings and weekends with their host family.

This a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Ukraine and their culture, while having fun showing them our country and culture.If you are interested in hosting or helping with the planning, or for more information please contact:

Patty Levenberg

Leaf Roberts

Sister City Friendship Dinner and Celebration

Enjoy delicious food and entertainment from Ukraine and Japan. Learn about our sister cities and SWF's activities.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Door Opens at 6:oo, Dinner and Program 6:30 to 8:30
Enmanji Temple Memorial Hall
1200 Gravenstein Hightway South, Sebastopol

Suggested Donation: Adults $15, Children $5

You Can Be A Student Ambassador to Japan!

Sebastopol World Friends (SWF) invites current 7th and 8th grade students to learn about the Sebastopol's sister city exchange program with Takeo City, Japan.

Sebastopol has been a sister city to Takeo (former Yamauchi) since 1985 and hundreds of students have participated in its quality home-stay exchange program.

This fall, SWF forms a group for the next two-year cycle (hosting in spring 2015 and travel to Japan in spring 2016) by selecting new student ambassadors.

Current 7th and 8th grade students who are attending a middle school in Sebastopol or living in Sebastopol are invited to an informational meeting where the application process and the hosting and travel outline will be presented. Interested students and families are strongly encouraged to attend one of the meetings before applying.

Information meetings will be offered on the following dates.

Saturday, October 4
Sebastopol City Hall
7120 Bodega Avenue, Sebastopol

Monday, October 6
Twin Hills Middle School Room 3
1685 Watertrough Road, Sebastopol

Thursday, October 9
Brook Haven School Library
7905 Valentine Avenue, Sebastopol

Open World Visitors from Chyhyryn

In September five adults from our Sister City, Chyhyryn, Ukraine will arrive in Sebastopol to participate in the Open World Program. Open World is funded by the US Congress to allow young professionals (under 45) to learn how our government and our non-profit corporations work. We are looking for families to host from September 20 to October 6. This a unique opportunity to learn about a different culture - talk about armchair travel! If you are interested in hosting, please contact

January 2012 Newsletter

To our valued friends, attached is our January 2012 Newsletter. There's lots of fun news to report from last year!

Inside this issue:

  • Chyhyryn Student Exchange highlights
  • Sustainable Development Exchange highlights
  • Retrospective 2011: The Year of Partnerships

Thank you all for your continued support of our programs, we are truly making a difference, One Friend at a Time.

Sustainable Development Exchange

August, 2011

Sebastopol World Friends has been selected to receive funding from the “Leading Asia: Renewing U.S. and Japan Sister City Networks.” This award is a tribute to the work and dedication of SWF volunteers and our community for efforts in fostering and strengthening cooperation and understanding between our city and Japanese Sister City – Yamauchi, and now Takeo City. With this funding, SWF will send a delegation to Takeo City, Japan, in November of this year with the goal of sharing best practices in Sustainable Development. Other goals are to establish ongoing communication about sustainability between the two cities, and brainstorm sustainability programs that can involve youth.

Sophia's Blog

We were at an orphanage for five days. The children were so loving, and they appreciated our company so much. They couldn't stop hugging us, and they wanted to play with us for as long as they possibly could. I can definetly say that being at the orphanage was quite an experience.

Some down sides to the orphanage experience were that we weren't
prepared for what we were walking into. Almost all of the children
have special needs, which made it difficult, and they were very
clingy. I mean it's great that they had so much love to share, but the
dirty conditions they lived in made it difficult for some of us to
enjoy them hanging on us. I know we did a great thing by playing with and helping these children, but better preparation would have helped us a lot more with this experience.

Some pictures from Chyhyryn!

The American Student Ambassadors haven't had time to get a blog entry posted recently, but I at least wanted to get a few pictures up. It's hot, humid, and we're all exhausted, but I think everyone is happy and glad to be here. They're keeping us so busy, it's tough to keep up!

Anyway, please see the attached photos. We got a great group photo at the top of Boghdan Hill, you'll see a small bit of Chyhyryn behind us. One neat photo was a shot of a lunar eclipse. We have lots of welcome party photos that were shot by a professional photographer, but I forgot to grab the disc when I was over at his house earlier. I'll get some of those up later on. I also figured I'd post a couple photos of some of the wonderful kids we've been working with at the orphanage.

- Chris

Blog #2

Hey friends and family. We are having a really great time so far. Today we took a tour and saw the presidents office, a cool statue of a whole bunch of people. IT WAS HUGE. Next we saw the national soccer cup stadium that is still being built. Then we ate fast food and we had to order and all the workers spoke Ukrainian. Thank God for Natasha and her translating abilties!!!!! Then we went to a famine Museum and lit candles to remember the people who died from famine. After that we went to a Cathedral and went under ground into a catacombs and saw some pretty cool dead Saints. By that point we were all very exhausted and we needed to stop for ice cream. Then we went shopping in this cool place that was under the street because its much easier to cross under the street.

Arrival in Kyiv!

We've arrived safely at our hostel in Kyiv, after a long and exhausting day of air travel. Everyone, especially the students, are really excited to be here, and are enjoying all the new things. More later! For now, attached is a photo of us at the Munich airport.

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