That which does not kill us makes us stronger. There were number of trials in my life, and I learned to repeat for myself and for other people, that everything happens for the better, and under no circumstances one can lose heart! While we fight - we live! Ilnytska Yulia, 2012 winner

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Meeting of the First Step to Success program winners 2013

Change the world for better… non-indifferent girls are sure:

they can do it!

On June 27-29, 2013 Kyiv hosted  the meeting of the First Step to Success Program winners.


Every spring active purposeful girls from different parts of Ukraine take part in the contest and bacome participants of the First Step to Success Program, which gives them numerous diverse opportunities to achieve success.

On June 27 Kyiv welcomed 20 girls who demonstrated that their ideas are worth supporting and they strive to develop themselves and improve situations in their communities.

This year meeting lasted for three days and traditionally started with excursion to Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Ukrainian Parliament), and then continued by round table in VR Committees organized with help of Inter-Faction Union "Equal Opportunity" and Parliamentary Development Program - II. During this round table female People's Deputies of Ukraine, successful women told the girls their success stories, shared their visions on the image of women-leaders in Ukraine and gave advice how to become successful and be happy.

Oksana Prodan, People's Deputy of Ukraine, emphasized: Always take responsibility. Nobody will do it instead of you… And if they do, then they will develop and move ahead, not you!.

Tetyana Slyuz, People's Deputy of Ukraine, noted that «one should never reject opportunities. One should always make tries! Undergo all tests. Even sometimes with tears in the eyes... The life is not so good abroad, as people say. We should be patriots!»

Lyubov Stasiv, People's Deputy of 5th convocation says: «We were lucky. Our Ukrainian women have always been strong! Children were my drive - I have five. I wanted to be the best. to make every work in the best way. Moved forward»

Natalia Kostyuk, Deputy of Kyiv Regional Council, insisted: «Girls, remember, a women can be at the same time clever, beautiful and strong! First of all you should stay human and you'll achieve great success!»

Elina Shishkina, People's Deputy of Ukraine of the 6th convocation, explained that «if it happened so that you failed, it is the opportunity to look at yourself from another angle. Possibly, it would give you understanding of the fact that you overgrew a certain level... It can be an incentive to write a new page of your life».

Lutsenko Iryna, People's Deputy of Ukraine, after sincere story of her life addressed the girls: «I wish you self-confidence, love that would support you in life, clever men who would become your supporters. Value yourself and your place in this life!»

The stories didn't leave anybody untouched. The girls listened the women with interest, sympathized with frank and sincere stories of career growths and sudden falls, were inspired by examples of decisions and remembered the advice.

«I am impressed by combination of frankness, kindness and at the same time discipline and leadership! Thank you for your experience!» - Maria Markiv from Ivano-Frankivsk wrote after the meeting.

After the round table with women-politiciansthe girls had a walk around Kyiv and visited galleries of Pinchuk Art-Center. 

And during the next day the girls were awarded for winning 2013 First Step contest of social ideas. The girls presented their projects, communicated with the program's organizational committee and invited guests.

«Their ideas are creative by way of performance, sincere by their determination to bring positive changes into their communities. We are glad that youth see the region's problems and are ready to work to solve them, but they need support by mentors. We are open for their projects and are ready to help them», - Natalia Karbowska, the Board Chair of Ukrainian Women's Fund, noted.

After being awarded the girls had two days' training program. It started with presentation of Fullbright exchange programs in Ukraine, during which the participants learned about opportunities of education or internship in the USA. During the trainings on «Gender sensitivity in civic space» and «Planning and writing project proposals» the girls received practical skills and theoretical knowledge necessary for them to implement their projects.

After returning home the program winners will start prepare their applications to participate in mini-grants program of Ukrainian Women's Fund, which will provide financing for their projects implementation.

The Program organizers value and respect socially responsible position of sponsoring companies and the program partners, which supported the conducted meeting by their participation and their products.

We thank:

Coca-Cola Ukraine

Media-partners of Edipress publishing house - Journals «Yedinstvennaya», «Polina» and «Young Lady»,

Inter-Faction Union «Equal Opportunities»

 Indiana University Parliamentary Development Program I

Center for Contemporary Art «PinchukArtCentr»

Fullbright Exchange Program in Ukraine

MAMA CASH Women's Fund

P.S. «I am very greatful to all people who joined our «education». I really hope our common work will change political, social and psychological situation in the country!», Maryna Zaporozhchenko, Gola Prystan, Kherson region.






























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