It seems my real hgh quality life started in 2007, when I won the First Step to Success contest. Then feelings were incredible, as I met famous women-leaders successful in professional and social life; I received knowledge for my further development and, in fact, today have result, - Evelina Gurnytska, 2007 program winner, tells her story

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Striding to Success - Havrylova Anastasiya, 2008 program winner, Mykolayiv

My FIRST steps to success

I had my first acquaintance with Human Rights in the capital, in July 2008 during the Ist (very symbolically!) School of HUman Rights for youth. I remember this school by the fact that though officially we finished classes at 7 pm, but discussions, sharing opinions on movies lasted till late night. These 8 days of the School (by agenda richness, trainers' professionalism, creative approach) stay unsurpassed!

The first vacation without free time was together with students from all over Ukraine and USA in July-August 2008. International Outreach Camp (IOC)is more than international summe camp. These are frienfly teams, jokes, fancy-dress parties, puzzles and talks till morning...

The first and the only Phoenix – as we, volunteers, called our project - summer camp for orphans in a small village of Mykolayiv region. Nobody expected that these extremely reserved children would like our classes, games and contests so much. And nobody even dreamt that almost without knowledge of English the children will communicate and get attached to volunteers from Armenia, USA and Kyrgyzstan.

The first real debates were at a real European Paliament (even though only Youth one yet!) in September 2008. Our team was protecting resolution on freedom of mass media - and protected it excellently.

The first changes in University came when I ands my friends joined students' trade union, started to learn how to protect our rights. We were not afraid to express our opinions in students' newspaper. We conviced people that
together it is easier to overcome difficulties. And what is the most important - we believed in that!

The first original holiday – 100% youth and 100% organized by students' efforts.St.Valentine's Day. There were all things possible - from body-art to marriages in University hall.

The first mountain passes - the Crimea. February. Mountains. Fog. Rain. And a small group of wet through people sing and dance in a ring. It was the first group that we, with my friend, gathered and took to the Crimea. Then we hadn't know that collaboration with tourist company would continue: there would be spring in Crimea, Sevastopol, long hikes to mountain waterfalls...

The first thoughts about the next summer appeared as early as in March, when I was invited to become not a participant, but a rainer in the summe camp! During two days
in Mykolayiv we had gathering of all my friends from Ukraine and Peace Corpse volunteers to discuss our summer`09. Then we developed the plan of English-language camp in Kharkiv, which would start working in July.

The first 36-hours' bus trip, which we called “Odesa – abroad”. Four students of our university together with the teacher - German citizen - went to Bulgaria to spend there 5 days, meet Bulgarian and Serbian young people, communicate only in German and together search for the answer to questions “What are we, modern Europeans?”

The first flight – to the city of winds, Baku. In the hotel on the coast of Caspian sea the important meeting was conducted, where girls from European countries discussed the role women play in intercultural dialogue. And in the evening we ate Turkish confectionery, danced Sweden dances and sang Georgian songs.

The first international card game took place in June in a small town one hour trip from Chishinau. The training course conducted there was based on the idea that cards were the best visual example of joining different cultures. This training gave me oppotunity to get acquainted with active, bright young leaders; communication with them became an incentive for me to implement own ideas and projects.

The first daring ideas – not to settle upon achievements. To travel. To acquire master's degree abroad, but live and work ONLY in Ukraine. To understand people better. To share experience and to help. To implement international youth project in Ukraine.

And in the end is my most important (especially for me) step. When last year I  returned after the First Step to Success awarding ceremony, I started speaking Ukrainian. As I understood that it was my language and I really want to speak it. I started speaking Ukrainian irrespective of the fact that nobody communicates in Ukrainian in Mykolayiv. Irrespective of the fact that everybody thought me freak. It was difficult and interesting. A year has passed. Now people who meet me and hear Ukrainian language say that they respect me and my choice. And it is the best award!

Thank you for June 2008, which really changed my life!

(The story is written in summer 2009)


Video success stories of 2012 projects
Success stories of the program winners. Natalia Kryvoi, Zhytomyr
Story of one project, Plyuta Chrtstyna
Success events of te current project - Kit (Plyuta) Khystyna, Lviv, 2007 winner
Story of one project - Zanyk Khrystyna, 2007 program winner
Striding to Success - Chabanenko Tetyana (Kostina), 2007 winner, Simferopol
Story of one event - Vdovichen Anastasia, 20100 program winners, Okhtyrka, Sumy region
Striding to Success - Havrylova Anastasiya, 2008 program winner, Mykolayiv
Year after Victory - Yana Verteba, 2010 program winner, Mariupol
Striding to Success - Kozlyuk Olha, 2006 program winner, Kamyanka, Rivne region
Striding to Success - Dekhtyariova Oksana, 2007 program winner, Luhansk
Shcherbakova Valeria, Zaporizhia region, Melitopol, Project: Treasure-Hunter
Tvardovska Vita, Mykolayiv region, Snigurivka, Porject: Healthy Child Healthy Nation
Samiylenko Yulia, Poltava region, Novy Martynovychy village. Project: The Spring of Soul
Sozonik Olha, Volyn region, Lutsk
Bahatska Lubov, Zaporizhia rgion, Tokmak; Project: Media Pelette: Youth Information page
Migali Zhanna, Zakarpattya, Uzhgorod, New Family
Kozachenko Olha (Balyuk Natalia) Lviv
Bilousenko Yulia - Kryvoy Natalia, Zhytomyr, Porject: Socialization of female students, including young mothers
Shteyuk Uliana, Lviv region, Vovkiv village. Project: Revival of theatrical and ritual traditions of Vovkiv village
Akopyan Karine, Kirovohrad, Project: Equal Access
Aleksiychk Khrystyna, Kherson, Project: Let`s make Kherson clean!

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