“It was a real hit. The first of its kind in Ukraine,” stated Nadiya Siryk, Director of the Samaritan Training Center and coordinator of the Pulyny Lavender Festival.

Lavender, an aromatic plant valued by the ancient Egyptians, is making a comeback throughout the world, including Ukraine. It has many uses including medicinal, antiseptic, nutritional, cosmetic, aromatic, and sedative. SMU recently introduced lavender to Ukraine at the Pulyny Lavender Festival.

Patterned after the Helvetia Lavender Festival in Oregon, SMU’s first annual Lavender Festival drew more than 500 participants who sampled lavender products, purchased souvenirs made by teens and the Babushka’s Workshop, and learned a lot about the uses of lavender. The festival also included music, activities for kids, and food vendors.

“Many people,” said Nadiya, “were amazed to attend a family-oriented event with activities for all ages. Everyone asks when the next festival will be held.”

Not only did the festival promote the benefits of using lavender in Ukraine but it also highlighted SMU’s work in the community, raised money for the Pulyny Widows’ Home, and developed volunteers. The event, staffed by 30 local volunteers, included 20 youth from the Samaritan Training Center.

“My son has been involved in the leadership group for several years. It was so good to learn not only about lavender but also about the Center. To know that my son and his friends helped put on an event that brought people together in such a positive way made me feel so proud,” shared one mother.

“My eyes were opened,” said one person, “to what lavender is and how it can be used. I am thankful to SMU for all that they bring to our community.”

More than one participant walked away with a bundle of lavender already planning on using the properties of lavender to help diminish headaches and insomnia, or – with a touch of its oil — to relieve the sting of a bee.

SMU Editorial Staff