It had been quite a while since I was preparing my arrival in Lviv, as I already applied in February. In the meantime, a lot of things had changed, but not my desire to come forward and spend a year in Ukraine.
At first, I was only interested in the project offered by SII, since I had never had the chance to discover Lviv before. Getting involved in a human rights promotion project was only a logical step for me, as I had graduated recently in this field. I was looking for a new perspective that would expand the scope of my lacunary and mostly academical understanding of human rights, especially since I only had explored it through the lens of law. Starting only a few months later was nothing less than convenient for me, as I was already involved in a project of information sharing to refugees in Greece, with Mobile Info Team.
I am very eager to discover how a human rights promotion project is implemented and how to create a space for discussion and sharing of perception of human rights narratives. Even though I had asked a few Ukrainians friends if they liked Lviv, and they all answered it was an amazing city, the choice of Ukraine was initially not my main concern, but it came out to be a lucky pick!
However, when the funding of the project was finally confirmed, I went to have a deeper look at the city and about Ukrainian folklore, and ended up spending hours watching videos of Lviv and events taking place here, being absolutely amazed about how beautiful the city is. Fortunately, one of the former volunteers that was involved in the organization I was then working with had forgotten a book about Ukrainian culture. I started browsing it, got absolutely caught.
In the end, I was eager to start discovering varenikis, bortsch, and other amazing Ukrainian dishes, but also to learn more about history, Tatars… The more I looked into it, the more I was enthusiastic by the slight glance to Ukrainian culture I had from afar.
Finally, I managed to book my flights, after interesting administrative adventures, as we all enjoy it.
Having just arrived, I can only say a few things about coming here; but even though the language barrier has been challenging, I discovered warm and welcoming people, that can be reluctant with English but enlighten themselves as soon as you pronounce even a few words in a messy Ukrainian (and they can be proud of their language, because it is a beautiful one).
I am now looking forward to getting involved in projects to participate in the life of Lviv, trying our best to make it a better place for everyone to live in!