Celebrating 20 Amazing Years: Happy Birthday, AEGEE-Kyiv!

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Three days of birth­day par­ties: last week­end AEGEE-Kyiv cel­e­brat­ed its 20th anniver­sary. Anna Pykhti­na, Pres­i­dent of the anten­na, told the Gold­en Times, why she is proud of being part of the lega­cy of such a great local.

Anna Pykhtina
Anna Pykhti­na (mid­dle) with the new anten­na T-shirt that was pre­sent­ed at the anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion.

GT: Anna, you cel­e­brat­ed the 20th anniver­sary of AEGEE-Kyiv this week­end! How was it? Spec­tac­u­lar?
Anna Pykhti­na: Oh, yes! The cel­e­bra­tion last­ed not one evening, but three days! For our board, cel­e­brat­ing 20 years of AEGEE-Kyiv was a big high­light. Our inten­tion was to show how much we achieved in all these years – and to invite those who made AEGEE-Kyiv what it is today.

GT: So what did you do?
Anna: We start­ed with vis­it­ing the Roman Catholic Church of Ukraine where the Nation­al House of Organ and Cham­ber Music is sit­u­at­ed. We enjoyed lis­ten­ing to some clas­sic music and for many Kyi­vans, it was the first time, when they were inside this amaz­ing build­ing. The Fri­day fin­ished in Fazen­da Bar, the favourite AEGEE-Kyiv bar. On Sat­ur­day, when all par­tic­i­pants came to Kyiv, we had a city tour, but as every­one already had been to Kyiv, we showed some secret places and our favorite spots. In the evening the big cel­e­bra­tion start­ed which last­ed till the morn­ing! On Sun­day we had a typ­i­cal after-par­ty day, walk­ing in the city, talk­ing, shar­ing ideas and hav­ing a real­ly good time togeth­er! I loved this week­end and hope that our guests as well!

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The big par­ty!

GT: Among all these things, what were the biggest high­lights of the cel­e­bra­tion week­end?
Anna: I guess, the par­ty was the best part. Apart from all night dances, cake and cham­pagne, we pre­pared a pre­sen­ta­tion that start­ed with an AEGEE cross­word, that our mem­ber Olia Den­e­siuk pre­pared. We also told a bit about the time when AEGEE-Kyiv was born in 1995 and showed some old pic­tures. Then we pre­sent­ed our new T-shirts with the slo­gan “Don’t mess with Kyiv” and our new video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HPZJ5Ugh-Q), which that was made by Vero­niu­ka Gume­niuk from our PR-team. We gave presents to our active mem­bers and got lots of gifts from our guests! Unfor­tu­nate­ly, AEGEE-Min­sk couldn’t come, but they sent a pre­sen­ta­tion! That was real­ly love­ly! More­over, AEGEE-Mosk­va, AEGEE-Lviv and AEGEE-Kharkiv gave us amaz­ing presents and many, many hugs.

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Oldies at the par­ty!

GT: You had some oldies there?
Anna: Yes! The most touch­ing part, as for me, was the time, when we invit­ed our oldies to say some words. They all shared their sto­ries of how they joined AEGEE and how their life changed – all of them are best friends still, they found their love in AEGEE and look­ing at them was so inspir­ing and moti­vat­ing! They all were real­ly sin­cere and I am real­ly thank­ful for that. We, the new gen­er­a­tion, are lucky that we can always ask them for help and sup­port.

GT: How many oldies took part? And who was the one from the longest time ago?
Anna: Well, we invit­ed all pres­i­dents and board mem­bers of all gen­er­a­tions we could find! The major­i­ty of them lives abroad or had plans on 14th of Feb­ru­ary, but a lot of oldies came: Alla Resheten, for­mer CD and Chair, with her hus­band Julien, Kate Vron­s­ka, Olga Basok, Roman Kudri­avt­sev, Nastya Iemeliano­va, the team of the orga­niz­ers of Ago­ra 2009, and Tanya Basok, who was pres­i­dent ten years ago!

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Anna and a gift from the guests

GT: How many par­tic­i­pants did you have?
Anna: We had more than 70 peo­ple at the par­ty, not only from AEGEE, but also from oth­er youth orga­ni­za­tions — some came just because they were curi­ous and heard about AEGEE for the first time. The atmos­phere was real­ly friend­ly and nice. We had sev­en par­tic­i­pants from oth­er anten­nae, com­ing from AEGEE-Mosk­va, AEGEE-Lviv and AEGEE-Kharkiv. All of them are our good friends, so this event was not about quan­ti­ty, but about peo­ple. More than 20 AEGEE-Kyiv mem­bers — apart from the board — were involved in the prepa­ra­tion and this helped to make the event as awe­some as it was.

GT: You had a great look­ing cake. How did it taste?
Anna: Yeah, the cake was real­ly deli­cious! And huge! Some were real­ly lucky and could take two pieces, but AEGEE-Kharkiv and our friends from oth­er orga­ni­za­tion also brought cakes as a gift, so it was a sweet night!

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The ori­gin: AEGEE-Kyiv mem­bers at the PM in Ljubl­jana in Feb­ru­ary 1995, when the con­tact signed the Con­ven­tion d’Adhésion.

GT: AEGEE-Kyiv has a log his­to­ry — when did you join?
Anna: I joined in March 2012, but I became active only in sum­mer 2013, when I was the main orga­niz­er of the TSU “Big Kyiv The­o­ry”.

GT: When you joined AEGEE, did you imag­ine the anten­na had such a colour­ful his­to­ry?
Anna: When I start­ed to trav­el and met new peo­ple, I was amused that say­ing “I am from Kyiv” caused almost always the same reac­tion – peo­ple had heard about our local and the image was already so good! So I became proud that I am one of the mem­bers of such an active anten­na. For me, being the pres­i­dent of AEGEE-Kyiv is a big respon­si­bil­i­ty and hon­or as so many active, great peo­ple are com­ing from it. And I hope that the his­to­ry of this local will be even more colour­ful in some years with the help of the new gen­er­a­tions!

GT: You looked a bit in the his­to­ry of your anten­na before the cel­e­bra­tion. What did you find inter­est­ing or sur­pris­ing?
Anna: Yes, I tried to find all pres­i­dents of AEGEE-Kyiv and I asked the major­i­ty of those who answered me some ques­tions. It was fan­tas­tic! I had a Skype meet­ing with the sec­ond Pres­i­dent of AEGEE-Kyiv, Anna Glos, from the board 1996–1997. She told me how AEGEE-Kyiv was born, how they trav­eled 20 years ago with USSR pass­ports, how they orga­nized their first sum­mer uni­ver­si­ty and how the youth was at that time. So many things have changed, start­ing with mod­ern tech­nolo­gies and the way the net­work grew, but there are also many things are absolute­ly the same – stereo­types about coun­tries, dif­fer­ences in tra­di­tions. It was a real­ly nice and inspir­ing talk!

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Anna Glos (right) in the first AEGEE-Kyiv office in 1997. Left: her suc­ces­sor Sasha Mirskikh.

GT: Great that you gath­ered inter­views with peo­ple of your antenna’s past! Where can we read them?
Anna: After talk­ing to Anna, we tried to find one per­son from every board of AEGEE-Kyiv and asked them the same ques­tion, so soon we will trans­late the inter­views and pub­lish them on our web­site with real­ly nice retro pic­tures. It is very impor­tant and inter­est­ing to know our his­to­ry.

GT: Let’s talk about the present: how many mem­bers does your anten­na have now?
Anna: Yes­ter­day we had 135, but I just received the mes­sage that five more reg­is­tered on the web­site, so we are grow­ing fast!

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AEGEE-Kyiv SU in 1997…

GT: What will the future bring to AEGEE-Kyiv? There is an Ago­ra com­ing up…
Anna: Well, there is more before the Ago­ra – an anniver­sary event, an exchange with AEGEE-Dres­den, a Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty… We will see, I can­not pre­dict what will hap­pen in the future, but with such great and ded­i­cat­ed mem­bers, we will try to make all gen­er­a­tions to be proud of AEGEE-Kyiv!

GT: Any­thing else you would like to add?
Anna: I am think­ing a lot about what AEGEE means for me and I am so hap­py that I decid­ed to join this orga­ni­za­tion! It is the place for cre­at­ing every­thing you would dream for and even more, it is the place where I met the peo­ple clos­est to me. It changed me, my life, my val­ues absolute­ly and it made me who I am now. I do not know what future will bring for me, but I guess, I would nev­er been hap­pi­er than I am now, work­ing for AEGEE, trav­el­ing with AEGEE, learn­ing from AEGEE, shar­ing AEGEE spir­it with oth­ers!

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