A conversation with Dina, project manager at WVM (Women’s Veteran Movement)

At peaceful times Dina was a project manager at a design company and taught languages. Now she is helping WVM with the management of internal projects and SMM. Read further about her personal insights, motivation and plans.

On the story of the acquaintance with WVM

I have known about WVM for a long time, since 2020, when I got interested in women’s issues in the context of feminism. I read documents, reports, and studies on this topic. Then I found WVM and started watching their interviews and videos. I wanted to get involved, but I wasn’t sure how to do it without being a veteran or a military servicemember. During the first week of the full-scale invasion, I started looking for ways to volunteer. That’s when I saw a post on WVM’s page that they were opening a headquarters. I wrote to them, and the next day I was in the headquarters.

About volunteering

The question of whether to leave or not was not an issue for me. I decided to stay and volunteer. Even before the full-scale invasion, I knew for sure that I would stay and look for ways to apply my skills and work for Victory together with everyone.

Currently, I am involved in internal projects. For example, I am working on a project to create a women’s military uniform. I communicate with investors and potential partners, manage the Twitter account, and handle other small tasks that arise constantly.

On burnout and motivation

I experienced burnout around the end of March. We were working almost without days off, and were constantly at the headquarters. It was the most stressful period because no one knew when it would end or what would come next. Now, I balance volunteering with work and free time.

My motivation is trivial — it’s to help my country. I want to contribute to victory, to the death of occupiers. What motivates me the most is that I can somehow participate. And I see the results of my actions, for example, popularizing our organization on social media brings more donations, more people learn about the organization or how to use our help.

I want my country to be independent and not suffer from aggressors who destroy our language and culture. This motivates me.

About volunteering insights

The main thing that I have realized during these months of volunteering is how people are capable of adapting to different conditions and tasks. In our headquarters, most people are doing tasks that they did not do in civilian life. These are either new skills that they gained here on the spot, or skills that were previously not their main source of income. It’s very cool that people can organize themselves together and do something for the Victory of Ukraine, for a common goal. Everyone is trying to do their best, looking for opportunities. This shows that as a nation, we can achieve anything. We teach each other, correct our own and others’ mistakes, and this experience has taught me that in any situation, it is possible to react correctly and effectively.

On the reasons for love for WVM

First of all, it’s the people. The team and the connections are important to me. Here I found friends and met people I had read about before. It was the team that “saved” me mentally at the very beginning. I was going through a tough time, but I kept coming here, talking to people, getting involved in the work, and it was helping me stay calm.

Secondly, it’s personal development. WVM provides opportunities for learning: medical training, tactical training, and driving. I didn’t have these skills before joining the organization. I value this experience a lot, especially since these skills are essential in wartime. Moreover, I am developing personally in the area of women’s issues during the war, which I have been interested in for several years.

Thirdly, it’s the feeling that I am helping my country. Whether a person volunteers an hour a day or a whole day, if the whole team works together, there will always be results. I believe that we all should work for Victory — some through volunteering, some by providing financial support, and some on the front line. There are many options, but the truth is one: if we all get involved, we help our nation for the future generations.