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At 16, a champion for democracy
As the second in our series of Young Women's Learning Partnership profiles, WLP spoke with Olena Prykhodko of Ukraine. Ms. Prykhodko is a member of the Interregional Young Women Leaders Group, which unites girls and young women to promote principles of democracy, equality, and youth leadership in social and political life. She describes her greatest accomplishment as forming a group called the Kharkiv Regional Council of High School Students, which was able to bring youth opinions on child welfare policies to the highest national decision-making level. Ms. Prykhodko, as chair of the group, spoke at a meeting with the president and most senior members of regional and national administration, resulting in stricter policies controlling sales of alcohol and in the construction of free, open air sports areas.
Ms. Prykhodkho interviewed with WLP Program Associate, Siobhan Hayes, to discuss the possibilities for youth participation in politics.
WLP: How did you get involved in activism?
Prykhodko: I have always wanted to become a person that is able to change something in this world. When I was a little girl “changing the world” was a vague idea, yet I felt that I needed to be useful. At the age of seven I entered the all-Ukrainian writing contest for high school female students – and my essay actually passed! I was invited to join the Interregional Young Women Leader’s Group, and have been a part of it ever since. I have now been working with social youth activists for eight years.
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