Ukrainian dream: how people change world’s history / Oleksiy Goncharenko

Znimok ekrana 2023 01 26 o 19.42.16

Talking about history, we usually mention great cultural figures. We all know their history, their lives, what they loved to eat and drink, and we know their birthdays.

The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine has placed my country at the center of the world’s history. And you know what I took away? History is created by people, by ordinary people. We do not write books about them, do not make movies, and do not glorify them in speeches.

It is unfair. This is what I want to correct, and this looks unfair, being inside the world’s history.
I would like to tell you about people. About people who are close to me. About the people who have done so much for Ukraine’s victory, we have to remember them. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of every Ukrainian, every foreigner who gave up everything and began to help Ukraine and the world in victory over evil. Unfortunately. I would like to remember everyone because a person’s name is her life, her history, and her being.

The whole world knows what the American dream is. This is the most understandable idea in the world for every person. It is when everything depends on you, doesn’t matter where you were born, who your parents are, what is your skin color or what is your religion, you can achieve everything you want.

This dream was born in the USA. And this dream did not let down the USA in its entire history. Every day, hundreds of thousands of people come to the United States. They surely know that hard work makes you the richest, the most successful, or the most influential. This belief is still important for the world’s society.

Many countries are trying to replicate the idea of the “American dream”. Similar ideas exist in almost every country. But in most countries, they exist only on paper.

What is the Ukrainian dream? Before Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, we talked a lot about it. We wrote articles, performed on television, and tried to raise this topic during the elections. We did not come to the conclusion: what is the Ukrainian dream? How can we describe it?

After a large-scale invasion, every Ukrainian knows what the Ukrainian dream is. This is freedom. It’s the freedom to do what you want, how you want, and when you want. Ukrainian dream is not self-centered, but collective. It is a dream about a safe space, where no one limits the rights, where people respect each other and do what they want.

This dream has always existed. No one could see or understand it. And now everyone in Ukraine and everyone in the world knows what the Ukrainian dream is.

Before the large-scale invasion, I organized and launched a nationwide network of educational centers — the Goncharenko Center. We currently have 30 centers all over Ukraine. The centers were planned as spaces where you can learn English, French, and Spanish for free. These are spaces for movie screenings and teaching financial literacy, sporting, and recreational activities. Everybody could visit the Center — whether a person supports my political ideas or not, what are their religious views, skin color, age, or gender.

We have done this for the first time in Ukraine. It is the largest network of non-governmental educational and cultural centers, which exist with private money. I was very proud of what we have done.

On February 24, 2022, everything changed. Now we have volunteer centers instead of educational ones. In the beginning, 5 of our centers were under Russian occupation. Now only one center is in occupation, and I hope that soon we will liberate it.

All centers and all workers completely changed their profession. Now, we are not educational centers that teach English for free. Now we are buying weapons, providing shelters for migrants and refugees, volunteering, giving humanitarian aid, and so on.

Results of our work in numbers:

— 35 million UAH for the needs of the Armed Forces — 50 vehicles
— 12 drones
— 10 Starlinks
— 11 anti-drone guns
— 10 computers for the subdivisions of the air defense system — 450 sets of form
— 150 periscopes
— 100 tablets
— 30 binoculars
— 15 devices of night vision
— 100 different walkie-talkies
— 200 body armor and Plate Carriers
— 200+ turnstiles
— 450+ tactical medicine kits
— generators, boilers, building materials
— over 200 tons of humanitarian cargo for soldiers
— 100+ migrants were put on probation, and we helped them find work — 1 self-propelled artillery gun
— 15 tons of medicine for the military and civilians
— 1 000 000 liters of water were distributed in Mykolaiv
— 2 000 000 portions of dried soups were distributed throughout the country — 10 thousand migrants were fed

At the same time, we were able to continue teaching people:

— 5 authors’ educational courses
— 13 567 educational and cultural events in a year
— 90 000 visits to our centers
— 10 000+ of people joined
— 100+ groups studying English
— 1500+ people received certificates of completion of the English language course — 20+ groups for the preparation for the external independent testing
— 250 creative master-classes
— 1000+ books were transferred to the libraries of Chernihiv and Mykolaiv
— 5 shows for children of migrants

People helped us to do this. Ukrainians and foreigners. 40 thousand people donated clothes, food, money, and time to help those who need it. Imagine, 40 thousand people.

The number of volunteers is much bigger if we consider all those who help not only in Goncharenko centers but throughout the country. These figures are impressive, there are tens of millions of people who want to help. And it is fantastic.

But why are we all doing this? Because we believe in the Ukrainian dream. We believe that our planet should have a territory in which freedom rules. Freedom to do what you want, live as you want, and be who you want.

And we defend this freedom with guns in our hands. We will protect it. Ukraine may not have the largest reserves of gas or oil. We do not have the most technological weapons. We do not have the strongest navy in the Black Sea. But we have something that is impossible to buy or build. We have a dream. And we have people who believe in this dream. Only this way, great powers appear on the map of the world. So appeared the US. And so is Ukraine.

I want Ukrainian and American nations to stay together. No matter what, we have to defend the Ukrainian and American dreams in any place of the world.

God bless the USA! Glory to Ukraine!


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