Letter from Kyiv

Raise Your Head: There Are So Much More Around

Dear All,

I can finally share it with you. 

It was such a busy time… I was running from one event to another, from one city to another, from one part of the country to another. Presentations, meetings, discussions, round tables, some more presentations, more meetings, and more discussions. There were periods when I did not end up at home for weeks. I did not have time to think it all over and to stop for a while. And then it all suddenly stopped. It just stopped. I stopped.

I was sitting in the cabinet of my house and thinking about the future. Or, it would be more correct to say, about my plans for the future, which had no chance of being implemented anymore. There was no way that the projects that we were to deliver in a month would be delivered; that the people I was working with would get their salaries; that our organization will survive this lockdown without any essential loss. To say that I was upset is to say nothing.

My phone started to vibrate. Somebody sent me an email. I checked it. And there it was. I was proposed to become in charge of a network of almost 130 active and proactive young people who were used to carrying out offline activities every week but were locked at homes at the moment. Can you imagine it? 130 people. Their mood, their emotions, their physiological condition, and mental health. You know what? I accepted the challenge. I thought that there is nothing to lose. 

It has been two months already that we are working together. I had to deal with their frustration, face some resistance, and manage conflict situations, but we are all good now. We got used to it. Instead of offline activities, we work online: we carry out Instagram challenges, we conduct webinars, and we deliver some educational Facebook campaigns.

Step by step, we are getting back on track. Yes, it might not be easy, but you may still see your companion’s eyes via Zoom, Facebook, Webex, etc. Yes, it might not be easy, but you may interact with the participants of the events using chats or the rule of the “raised hand”. Yes, it might not be easy, but you may still have fun with your friends online. 

Actually, this is amazing. Now it is considered as something natural to have a meeting with a person from another part of the country to discuss your joint project on conducting a webinar for high school students from another state. How do you like it? I am in love with it! 

There is always a way out of any problematic situation. Just do not let all the burdens of these days to lower your head. For sure, I am excited about being allowed to enjoy my offline life again. However, I am grateful for this chance to reconsider it and to try something new. 

Be patient, and be optimistic.

See you soon!

Yours faithfully,

Liliia Antoniuk

About Liliia

Liliia Antoniuk is a Young European Ambassadors in Ukraine National Focal Point (EU NEIGHBOURS East), and an Executive Director of the NGO “Women’s League”. She mainly works with the issues of youth and women’s empowerment and has in her portfolio projects aimed at their political and economic engagement. 

Liliia is a traveler, and despite being currently based in Kyiv, Liliia lived in six countries and visited 33.

IG: liliia.antoniuk.ua

FB: liliia.antoniuk


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