From 2022 to 2024: A Story of Resilience and Struggle of AIESEC in Ukraine

From 2022 to 2024: A Story of Resilience and Struggle of AIESEC in Ukraine

Armed conflicts are one of the greatest issues the modern world faces nowadays. Its impact on the global community is far-reaching and profound, instantaneous and long-lasting, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. War disrupts economic stability, exacerbates humanitarian crises, triggers mass displacement, ruins families, homes, and lives. Through the course of the 21st century, we have watched multiple conflicts occur and are being resolved, and some of us have felt the wrecking consequences. However, what we all have in common, as members of the international community, is the desire to make an impact that leads to positive changes in the world and brings us closer to reaching peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential.

As a global organization, AIESEC feels responsible for taking part in building a better future by promoting our values, mission, and vision. We do it through our initiatives and international exchanges as we believe that multicultural understanding is fundamental for fostering peace in one’s mind and in the world.

Armed conflicts in Ukraine, Palestine, Syria, and many other countries prove that peace is fragile and remind us once more that we cannot take it for granted. They also remind us that we, as dignified world citizens, can help each other in times of need. We can share truthful information, donate money, clothes or food, host people, and simply be sympathetic by acknowledging that some countries are going through tough times and pay too much to simply prove that they deserve a future. For nothing in this world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance.

AIESEC answers the call of global issues. Many of our Entities adapt to the problems they have to face and come up with sustainable solutions to ensure our development as an organization and help people through our projects.

Regardless of the full-scale Russian invasion in Ukraine that has been destroying thousands of homes and millions of families for two years since February 24, 2022, AIESEC in Ukraine stands strong. The displacements of its members, losing connection with people in occupied territories for days, constant blackouts during autumn-winter of 2022-2023, and more than 31,000 air raid alarms are only the tip of what happened since the first missile landed on the Ukrainian territory. AIESEC in Ukraine had to deal with breaking various partnerships, losing its membership, and mitigating the PR crisis. Only more challenges are to come until Russia removes all its forces from the Ukrainian land and Ukrainians are able to live peaceful lives again.

In spite of hardship, the courage and dedication of members of AIESEC in Ukraine has led the Entity to incredible achievements that empower others. More than 230 young people became closer to fulfilling their true potential through outgoing internships, thousands took part in internal events in Ukraine. Over 59,000 children were engaged in World’s Largest Lesson and LEAD for Peace.EduUp initiatives during almost 2000 lessons. 

But it’s not just numbers. Each international exchange participant adds up to strengthening cross-cultural understanding and sharing professional experience to ensure mutual growth, each lesson makes quality and versatile education available to more children who will eventually shape the world instead of us.

Head of AIESEC in Ukraine — Kateryna Kirvas shares about the essence of Ukrainian members: “I think Ukrainian AIESECers are truly dedicated and value-driven leaders, they have a huge commitment and they value the power of impact very much. They chose to stay in AIESEC and apply for higher roles because they have strong organizational “why” and they want to develop Ukrainian society. Since AIESEC is an international organization, I think it’s also important for our people to break stereotypes and assumptions about Ukraine in other countries.”

It really shows the importance of never losing sight of your dreams, the passion that has been driving you through the darkness, and the determination to achieve something greater. People of AIESEC in Ukraine demonstrate true leadership in the face of challenges and thus contribute not only to a peaceful future for Ukraine but to the younger generation’s awareness of what steps we need to take to feel harmony in our society.

AIESEC sees the true potential of young people’s dreams. Some of us dream of a peaceful future, some of us dream of personal fulfillment, and some of us dream of feeling safe at our own home again. We believe that bringing attention to current global issues and speaking up as a community does make a difference. You can be the ambassador of this impact, no matter your age, gender, nationality, or religion. Today we are all united by one question: are we proud of the world we are building?