Two new profiles at DIGNITY are an important link between DIGNITY in Copenhagen and the NGOs in Ukraine
Svitlana Zakrynytska has spent almost a year in Denmark by now, while Tania Sokolan just arrived a few days ago from France to where she fled when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Both are now part of DIGNITY where they will work with projects in Eastern Europe, most of which are related to Ukraine.
As a programme manager, Svitlana, with her background in political science and international development studies, works to consolidate and develop DIGNITY’s Ukrainian and other East European projects:
»Of course, it is an advantage that we speak Ukrainian. Some staff members at DIGNITY’s partners in Ukraine only speak a limited English. We know the country and the context, and we are able to follow up on a formal e-mail with an informal phone call or message«, says Svitlana.
Communication in a war zone
Communication with Ukraine is not always simple these days. Power outages and breakdowns in the mobile phone networks created by Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure sometimes mean that the DIGNITY staff in Copenhagen are out of touch with Ukrainian partners for days.
»And we never know which regions of the country the shelling will affect«, explains Svitlana.
Tania, who has a law degree, is a project manager and currently works with three DIGNITY projects.
»I used to work for the Council of Europe in Kyiv and Strasbourg and with my legal background I have a good knowledge of the DIGNITY partners who work in the legal field. But DIGNITY’s humanitarian partners in Ukraine are new to me. And to DIGNITY«, says Tania.
Tania was able to relocate her work on criminal justice for the Council of Europe from Kyiv to Strasbourg and only later moved to Copenhagen when she got the job at DIGNITY from the beginning of 2023.
Svitlana left Ukraine in April 2022. She worked at the University of Southern Denmark until she started working for DIGNITY in December 2022.
Both deal with the Danish bureaucracy concerning social security numbers, residence permits, taxes and other nuisances but seem to manage so far.
»The Danes seem like a rather reserved people. But it is my experience that they are open to helping you if you ask for it«, says Svitlana.