Published March 7, 2023
Reading | 2.5 min

Welcome to the series #EVERYDAYHEROES in which we introduce exceptional members of our network. Through pop culture, we discovered that heroes fly, have superpowers, come from another planet, and wear capes and costumes, but there are other, real heroes. Heroes we are surrounded by every day, who raise their voices in times of injustice and fight for the rights of all of us. Who look the same as us, who express their superpower by fighting every day for a better and democratic society. Everyday heroes, that we have to talk about. Follow us on our Instagram to catch the next interview among the first ones.

Another Everyday Hero is Viktoriia Bystra from Ukraine.

Can you introduce yourself?

I am Viktoriia Bystra, ambassador of EDYN Ukraine, trainer in ToT EDYN program and Schuman trainee in the European Parliament. My background is built on international relations with a focus on negotiation processes. Apart from this, I am the strategic planning manager in NGO “Paneurope Ukraine” and mediation manager in French NGO “C L’Europe”. In my free time here in Brussels I frequently go to events that support Ukraine and advocate for Ukrainians needs.

What do you consider your biggest success?

I believe my biggest success will come later, so far I can consider my achievement as an active young leader every day to be in contact with Members of the European Parliament as I am working with them on a daily basis in DG FINS, MEPs Portal Unit. I share my experience about war with them, promote Ukrainian agenda and try to expand the network among young leaders within EU institutions.

What does the word DEMOCRACY mean to you?

Democracy is a valuable word for all mankind. It is a kind of construction that supports our daily life. Democracy includes inclusion, anti-extremism, transparency, accountability, constructive political engagement, solidarity, respect, ethical behaviour, meritocracy, and environmental consciousness.

Who do you consider your Everyday Hero and why?
I think Everyday Hero is someone who is not afraid to step out of their comfort zone and go beyond simple things. This is someone who is ready to advocate for their rights and believe in a better future. As of now, former professor Igor Zhaloba from my university is a great example of an Everyday Hero. From the first day of the war, he showed his bravery to fight for Ukraine’s independence and decided to go into the military.

What does the concept of Everyday Hero mean to you?
For me, this concept is super simple but genuinely important. We should embrace our small achievements toward democracy every day as we are all writers of world history. Each of us is unique and capable of making a difference in life, so let people know who they are and support them.

Why did you become a member of EDYN?
EDYN is a big network, which brings a lot of opportunities, connections, and partnerships. I personally did not want to miss these things, but also I extremely enjoy helping my country develop more and more, seeing changes in the lives of Ukrainians, and aligning my life goals with the expansion of EDYN.

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