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 Program participants in 2014. The first day

May 29, 2014



On May 29 Kyiv hosted the opening ceremony of the ninth meeting for the First Step to Success Program winners. Simultaneously the five days’ school was organized for the Program winners in the years 2006-2013. Combination of these two events became a unique opportunity for exchange of experience between this year winners and experienced activists, which created an extraordinary atmosphere and mood.

As usual, the girls had an intensive three days program: meetings with successful women, round tables in Verkhovna Rada committees, master-classes and trainings, interesting walks and excursions. In fact, each day is scheduled minute-by-minute.

For 2014 winners the first day started with the training on gender sensitivity in civic space, which was conducted by Natalia Orlovska, practical psychologist and expert on gender issues. Constructive conversations, practical exercises and explanations by professional gave opportunity for participants not only to understand the notion of gender, but to feel its influence on personal examples. Re-understanding the causes of gender discrimination gave opportunity to see all negative consequences of misunderstanding and rejecting the concept of gender equality by the society.
«Till now I haven’t even thought of the fact how many things are combined in the notion of gender, and how it is important for contemporary society. The training has changed my mind. Now I know that stereotypes concerning women‘
s social roles are only historical labels that suppressed the right to self-assertion. And first of all we have to dismantle these stereotypes in ourselves to achieve the set goals.» - Kateryna Filyuta, participant from Volyn region, shares


At the same time in the next room participants of the five days’ school, who became the Program winners in previous years and by now have already created own organizations or plan to do it in the nearest future, plunged into a chain of 15 master classes and trainings. This day they had a chance to learn about possibilities of collaboration with Microsoft Ukraine and got advice of Olga Vesnianka – a journalist, human right activist and free lance trainer.

Later all participants of this year Program had opportunity to communicate with Verkhovna Rada People’s Deputies Olga Belkova and Lilia Hrynevych. The meeting took place in the Committee on the Rule of Law and Justice, where activists could feel the atmosphere of political life. In general conversation was rather fruitful, Deputies willingly told their success stories, gave practical advice and convinced girls that women have enormous potential to influence society processes. As Olga Belkova said: «While men speak about big things, women do small ones and thus change the world»
The first day was completed by friendly dinner, where participants could get acquainted better, discuss ideas, share own impressions

This day's photos:


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