Today we are celebrating our fifth anniversary. We have not simply survived but also strengthened and grown through ups and downs, through trials and errors. Since the day I’ve joined the organization, I have constantly been asking myself what are the pillars of our success, success of the organization which, from a point of view of a business consultant, had little chances for survival but, after all, not everything in this world is determined by business laws.

Enthusiasm. Promote Ukraine was started five years ago by an enthusiastic initiative from Marta Barandiy right after the beginning of the armed conflict in Donbass. Marta led the organization for more than four years, giving all her energy and time, and sacrificing her family life and her job in a leading global corporation to make the organization grow. First failures, lack of support, and lack of resources caused doubts, but she believed that everything will work out, and it did.

The enthusiasm of our members is the “fuel” of our projects. We focus on the desired result rather than barriers in our way. Despite the lack of money, time, experience, contacts etc. we act inspired by the idea and learning on our way to our goal.

Dream. We dream about a united and prosperous Ukraine, successful Ukrainians, about peace in Donbass and freedom in Crimea. We dream about the day when western Europeans perceive Ukrainians only as highly-qualified professionals, when Ukraine becomes a country where everyone would love to live, to work or to spend their holidays in. We also dream about our own future: the growth and success of our organization. We allow ourselves to dream, and our dreams come true.

Team.Today’s team was not formed in one day. Some people left when encountered first difficulties that a start-up non-profit faced, but new people came and continue to come. Most of these people are the same enthusiastic dreamers as we are – they are driven by an idea of Ukraine.

In turn, we put aside all prejudices with regard to sex, age, origin, status or language. We focus on what is unifying us. As a result, it turns out that people who in any other circumstances could never have met, united their knowledge, experience, aspirations into one common multifaceted puzzle called Promote Ukraine.

Self-realization. Most of our team members are migrants, smart, highly-qualified but still migrants. That is why the idea of Ukraine is so dear to us. And that’s why the organization has also become a platform for self-realization for many of us. The very idea has turned into one of our goals – to support those who come to us: with their projects and professional goals, we help make them leaders of their own lives and in their professional setting.

Prospect. Sometimes we take a short pause to reflect upon the past but we do not stop. We always look into the future and see new horizons. Today we continue previous projects but also attempt new endeavors. We learned to think big. One of the most exciting events of our organisation is coming up in June – the international multidisciplinary conference: “Behind the Digital Curtain. Civil Society vs State-sponsored Cyber Attacks”. This conference is a new wave in our growth. With this event we assure a high level of participants, more expertise, more focus, wider professional network, and new future projects.

Another big step is our own journal that we are launching this year – Brussels Ukraїna Review, a journal that will offer readers an alternative independent view on Ukraine, external and internal politics, the military conflict, European dimension of Ukrainian future and many other tendencies and trends surrounding Ukraine today.

For sure these and other projects would be difficult to implement without our partners. We are grateful for all of the support and look forward to new common endeavors.

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