Polkou na Volyni
Marija Mychajlivna Bozhko was born on January 3, 1946 in the city Dubno in the Rivne region of western Ukraine in the then Soviet Union. Her father was of the Russian nationality and fought in the Red Army in the Finnish-Soviet War, where he was captured. He managed to escape from the captivity and after arriving in western Ukraine, he met Joana, the mother of Maria Mychajlivna, in the village of Kyrylivka. The mother was of Polish nationality, and during the Second World War, when the so-called Volhynian slaughter took place in the summer of 1943 and Poles and Ukrainians were murdered, the parents had to leave Kyrylivka and go to Dubno after one of the massacres on April 24, 1943. Marija Mychajlivna was born there shortly after the war. She completed a seven-years elementary school in the city, graduated from an evening school and then worked with artists, as an accountant and finally as a forewoman in a factory. Marija Mychajlivna participated in the opening of the Dubno Catholic Church in 1992 and since 1995 she has been the chairwoman of the Dubno Association of Polish Culture in Dubno, which brings together locals with Polish ancestors and those interested in Polish culture. She currently (2020) lives in Dubno in the Rivne region of western Ukraine.