Autumn Agora 2015 in Kyiv: “This Event Will Be a Reason to Unite”

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The Autumn Ago­ra 2015 will be host­ed by AEGEE-Kyiv – and hard­ly ever was there so much enthuasi­am about the deci­sion for an Ago­ra loca­tion. The race was tough, five anten­nae com­pet­ed for the orga­ni­za­tion of the most pres­ti­gious event in AEGEE: Beograd, Berg­amo, Cluj-Napoca, Kyiv and Val­let­ta. Nev­er before was the inter­est so high in wel­com­ing 800 or more stu­dents for the gen­er­al assem­bly. The deci­sion to make the Ago­ra in Kyiv is a sig­nal to the world: the mem­bers of AEGEE stand unit­ed behind their friends in Ukraine, who expe­ri­enced an excit­ing and not easy year. AEGEE-Kyiv Pres­i­dent Anna Pykhti­na, on Face­book bet­ter known as Anna Smai­liko­va: “This Ago­ra is not only gift for AEGEE-Kyiv, but a chance to locals in Ukraine and neigh­bor­ing coun­tries!”

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Anna Pykhti­na (left) with Maryana Semenyak (AEGEE-Lviv) in Cagliari.

Gold­en Times: How do you feel about get­ting the Ago­ra?
Anna Pykhti­na: How do I feel?! I still remem­ber how loud mem­bers of my local were, when they heard the final result! And many words were said by my friends and peo­ple from oth­er locals who greet­ed AEGEE-Kyiv — it was amaz­ing! It’s prob­a­bly the best moment of the year, I am real­ly hap­py, excit­ed and ready to take the chal­lenge!

Gold­en Times: Which impor­tanсe has this event for AEGEE in Ukraine in this par­tic­u­lar inter­na­tion­al con­flict sit­u­a­tion?
Anna: This event will be the rea­son to unite. This year’s events in the coun­try, Euro­Maid­an and all the protests and con­se­quences changed our life and the life of Ukrain­ian locals. Some became even more active, some unfor­tu­nate­ly less. There­fore, as I men­tioned in my speech, this Ago­ra is not only a gift for AEGEE-Kyiv, but a chance to locals in Ukraine and neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. We were always telling and describ­ing to our mem­bers, spon­sors, gov­ern­ments — and par­ents of course — how pow­er­ful AEGEE is. And now final­ly we can show them!

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In 2009 there was already an Ago­ra in Kyiv. The mot­to also fits today: “Pow­er for change”

Gold­en Times: Will there be also some the­mat­ic dis­cus­sion con­nect­ed to the sit­u­a­tion in Ukraine in the Ago­ra itself or as a pre- or post-event?
Anna: In 2015 there will be lots of dis­cus­sions about the sit­u­a­tion, as a sim­i­lar top­ic was select­ed for EPM Bur­gos. But I believe that the con­tent should be much wider than talk­ing only about the sit­u­a­tion in Ukraine. We need to dis­cuss and share the opin­ions also about the impor­tance of democ­ra­cy and the active role of the young gen­er­a­tion in cre­at­ing it, about Human Rights and the need of input from all of us.

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Organ­is­ers of the Kyiv Ago­ra 2009

Gold­en Times: When did you get the idea for apply­ing for the Ago­ra?
Anna: AEGEE-Kyiv always thinks to apply for big events. So it was not only me who decid­ed to take the chal­lenge, but many push­es from oldies, from mem­bers. And the lat­est events in the coun­try and their effect on the work of Ukrain­ian locals only made us sur­er about the utmost impor­tance of host­ing such big event. It is essen­tial for our part of Net­work to prove that we can orga­nize such statu­to­ry event as the Ago­ra as it will be rea­son for a bet­ter coop­er­a­tion with all tar­get groups – mem­bers, spon­sors, gov­ern­ment and oth­er NGOs.

Gold­en Times: Fundrais­ing must be hard now. Was it easy to secure the basic sup­port for mak­ing the event?
Anna: On one hand, fundrais­ing now is hard as we have a cri­sis in Ukraine. But on the oth­er hand, we didn’t have much sup­port for the past year, apart from inter­na­tion­al com­pa­nies rep­re­sent­ed in Ukraine. So it is like a start from the new page – nowa­days the elect­ed gov­ern­ment has a Pro-Euro­pean direc­tion, so hav­ing the same aims, we hope for a pro­duc­tive coop­er­a­tion!

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The Chair Team of the Kyiv Ago­ra 2009.

Gold­en Times: Will you also be main coor­di­na­tor?
Anna: I will. But only because I have an amaz­ing, expe­ri­enced team and sup­port of not only Ukrain­ian locals.

Gold­en Times: Any­thing else you would like to add?
Anna: Don’t be afraid to come to Kyiv, to Ukraine. Be afraid to stuck in the vir­tu­al real­i­ty that the media show you and blind­ly fol­low­ing it!

Read also Anna’s inter­view in The AEGEEan Mag­a­zine.

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