Interview with Zoya Aleksandrova

Meet Zoya Aleksandrova, Back Office Lead in Ukraine

Tell us a little about your background. What were you doing before the war?

For many years, I worked in the publishing industry, contributing (both literally and figuratively) to the creation of hundreds of books of various genres.

How does the war affect your daily life?

For most Ukrainians, including me, life is divided into “before” and “after” the start of the war on February 24, 2022. This period of time feels like a long, terrifying dream, an event outside of reality yet horrifyingly real. It is consumed with anger and hatred, despair and hope, and a stubborn belief, even on my darkest days, that Ukraine will prevail.

Why did you decide to work at Nova Ukraine?

I didn’t have to decide; it happened on its own. There was simply a need to do something useful and I had a lot of free time. The universe took care of the rest.

What’s your typical day at the office like? Please describe your daily activities and tasks.

Reports, reports, reports… At first glance, it may seem like my role is all about abstract numbers and tables. But in reality, I am 100% consumed in real stories, real people’s lives. Our team of coordinators is ordinary men and women helping other ordinary men and women just like ourselves, in desperate need of the humanitarian assistance we are providing.

Can you share with us a particular story that struck you?

One particular “unfinished” case has stayed with me. Volunteers ferrying generators across the Desna River in Chernihiv in the spring of 2022 came under fire on the return journey and lost their lives…

And there is another case that still echoes in my heart. The death of 21-year-old Yuliia Zdanovska, a volunteer in Kharkiv who graduated from the Mechanics and Mathematics Department of Kyiv National University. She had such an opportunity to glorify Ukraine on the mathematical front, but her life was cut short by an airstrike from the aggressors on March 3, 2022.

Every Ukrainian could share dozens of tragic stories like these because when you are living in war, tragedy is no longer exceptional.

What do you think Ukrainians need the most right now? (Besides victory.)

Comprehensive support from countries that share our values and stand up for humanity.

As for Ukrainians, we must all do what we consider necessary, follow the call of our hearts, and forbid even a trace of doubt of the likelihood of victory.

What is the most challenging part of your work at Nova Ukraine?

Experiencing the pain of Ukrainians again and again through “war-related” inquiries and the accompanying photo reports. All day, every day, you witness obliteration and its aftermath.

What is the most rewarding aspect?

Feeling connected to the cause. Seeing ordinary people coming together in defense of our country and our citizens.

What else would you like our donors and readers to know about you and what you do at NU?

I hope – no, I know – that our victory is not far away, and therefore, little by little, we all need to make plans for what we will do AFTER.

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