The Intercultural Digital EuroCaravan is a creative approach to the current Covid-19 crisis. In its essence, there is the idea of using culture as a medium, a tool for social cohesion, for co-creating and strengthening solidarity among young Europeans. This initiative is a continuation of the Interfaith Digital Caravan that was initiated by the John Paul II Center Interfaith Leaders Network in June of 2020. By sharing inspiring stories and histories, best practices and expertise in the times of crisis we hope to strengthen the European spirit of the common good and uplift the virtue of hope in some of the most vulnerable communities. The themes of identity, dialogue and cooperation will be centered around our common values and markers to catalyse cooperation and partnership. Joint social media campaigns created by participants will reflect the idea of unity and intercultural dialogue as a tool to strengthen cohesion and cooperation.
This project is led by Libertas Center for Interreligious Dialogue/Institute of Religion and Society (Ukraine), JuBuk (Germany) and Caynex (Georgia). It is supported by the EVZ Stiftung and John Paul II Center.
Amidst the spread of the Coronavirus, physical borders of most countries are closed and mobility is reduced. While most people are confined to their homes, we are not alone. Culture, religion and spirituality are those bridges that unite human beings in spite of their gender, race, color and religion. Thanks to technology, millions of people remain connected and are able to pursue human development, flourishment and search for a higher meaning in their lives.
The Intercultural Digital EuroCaravan is an initiative that has as its aim to strengthen cultural and spiritual ties within European countries as well as to help people learn, share and create together. Speakers will offer virtual tours of significant cultural/religious sites related to the webinar themes. While speakers will present interactive presentations during online webinars, participants will be invited to upload images of past their experiences, travels, pilgrimages within the European continent, etc to related to specific webinar themes.
In a series of online meetings/webinars (5 months), participants will meet inspiring individuals from 3 different European countries with different cultural and/or religious traditions who will host a presentation followed by a friendly conversation and dialogue. In this way, participants, like in old days, will be able to travel on their PC’s/tablets – “camels” – throughout the continent and get enriched by this experience. As we are all now confined by physical borders, our digital caravan will enable people undertake a virtual path of discovery and exploration.
Speakers will include singers, artists, religious leaders, inspiring individuals, survivors, tour guides, etc. Gender-balance will be taken into consideration as well.
The collective work and digital exchanges will be coordinated by the Institute of religion and society which will provide a strategy for all partners to implement and follow. Each partner, in its turn, will make sure to follow the guidelines and work on the goals set in front of them.
TRAINERS AND FACILITATORS:
Taras Dzyubanskyy PhD, Theologian, Senior Alumni Advisor of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue (Rome Italy), Director of the Institute of Religion and Society of the Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv, Ukraine), UNAOC EDIN Project Trainer and Facilitator
Dr. Taras Dzyubanskyy holds a PhD in Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Since October 2012, Taras has been working as an adviser for religious and ecumenical issues to the Mayor of Lviv. In May 2013, he inaugurated an interfaith centre “Libertas.” Taras has been awarded with several distinctions related to his innovative approach on interfaith dialogue and social issues.
Alumnus of the UNAOC Fellowship Program, Taras is active in developing workshops and training for KAICIID Center and for MasterPeace Foundation. He now teaches at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine and coordinates an international group of alumni of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue.
Author of four books, Taras is strongly committed to promoting interfaith and intercultural dialogue as he believes that people of different faiths have a lot to offer to humanity through their religious experiences and traditions which are an invaluable source of wisdom, prudence, love and respect. A motto that Taras identifies with is “Seek the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
My name is Giorgi Azariashvili, I was born in Georgia 15/12.1990. During the period of 2009-2015, I obtained Bachelor and Master degree in political sciences at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. Currently doing my PhD in European studies at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. In addition I graduated from the GFSIS 1 year educational courses National security and public policy in 2014-2015. Apart from academic work, since 2009 I have been involved in civil society activities. In 2013 I founded Youth NGO Caucasus Youth Nexus, Simultaneously I was coordinator of the projects in MasterPeace Georgia club and in Lets Do it Georgia.
I was Manager of different youth projects in Georgia, such are: The center for foreign students right protection and integration; Youth reflex; Youth Reflex 2.0; ACT – artists creating together; Georgia clean-up day 2017,2018,2019 and 2021, EURO CARAVAN, ACT for environment, etc… . Nowadays I’m working on different projects which aims to support Georgian Young people living in rural areas, to educate, to increase their personal skills and abilities for their future career building. Furthermore I attended dozens of international projects, jamborees, Seminars and conferences in different countries around the globe.
My life motto is #CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR EVERYONE.
Tel: +995 5557555977
Social worker, volunteer, global citizen
Elena finishes her studies of International Social Work at Protestant University of applied science in Ludwigsburg. She is active in local social work with young migrants and refugees. Elena participates in different international projects through Erasmus+ Programme and Council of Europe, is active in organizing projects at all levels (local, national and international).
She is interested in such topics as sustainability, human rights and peace education, mental health, non-violent communication and intercultural learning. Currently she is working as a social worker at a youth dormitory and helps young people with different backgrounds to adjust to life in Germany, find work or start studying, etc.
During her stay in Germany she volunteered at OxFam, Club International, Forum der Kulturen and more. In the future she wants to get more involved in international projects as an organizer and project manager.
PR AND COMMUNICATION MANAGER, WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS DESIGNER
Ph.D of philological sciences.
Professional competence: conducting courses of PR, marketing, advertisement, advertisement rhetoric, modern advertisement; courses of professional adaptation of youth on the labor market, press relations, work with the media and advertisement agencies, modern business Ukrainian and Russian language; marketing, PR; personnel consulting and formation, trainer, business-consultant in PR
Lidiia is an alumna of the Russell Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Studies (Rome, St. Thomas Aquinas University), and she has worked as a Media Intern for the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue, responsible for the Center’s social media and communications (Rome, St. Thomas Aquinas University).
She is also an alumna of the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies (Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy), and currently a student of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences. She holds an MA in Religious Journalism from the Ukrainian Catholic University and an MA in Journalism from the Ivan Franko Lviv National University.
In 2018 “The School of Interreligious Journalism” (my project) received the prestigious Intercultural Achievement Award in the category “Innovation” from the Federal Ministry Republic of Austria (Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs).
Maja studies Religion and Community Education with Social Work at the Protestant University of applied science in Ludwigsburg.
At the moment she’s doing her internship and works at vij (Association for International Youth Work) in Stuttgart.
She is engaged in activities with migrants and refugees.
Short description of their social media campaign:
“Frauen Power” is a local project to empower women with refugee and migrant backgrounds. Throughout this social media campaign I want to reach local women, who would benefit from the activities (e.g. workshops, courses, language café) presented by “Frauen Power”, but also other users in order to raise awareness on the topic, as well as other NGOs and associations in order to broaden the network.
Monawer Ziarmal has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and is currently completing his second bachelor’s degree in political science at the Free University of Berlin. He completed his Erasmus exchange year abroad at UCL – University College of London and is a scholarship holder of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
Due to his interest in politics and diplomacy, he completed his internship at the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in 2020. He is also an interpreter for the Federal Police Office, public prosecutor, court and Berlin Senate project.
From 2008 to 2016, he also began working as a journalist and TV presenter when he was young and doing his first bachelor’s degree.
He speaks German, English, Turkish, Dari, Persian, Pashto, Arabic
Insta: M0NAWER_ZL (@monawer_zl) • Instagram photos and videos
Facebook: Monawer Ziarmal | Facebook
Short description of their social media campaign:
“Erasmus +” is my social media campaign to integrate and motivate youth from all classes and milieus of the society or youth with refugee and migrant backgrounds into the topics which currently concerns EU. Throughout this social media campaign, I want to reach local youth, who would benefit from the activities (e.g. workshops, courses, trainings different non formal education activities and getting in contact to other youth from other European countries) presented by “Erasmus +”, but also other users in order to raise the motivation and encourage them to engage in EU political issues for a better future for themselves and a united EU, as well as other NGOs and associations in order to broaden the network.
Maia is a psychologist with a diverse background from environmental, social inclusiveness, innovation to sport matters. She has been with the SUGAR Network for Innovation as the Head of operations and strategy since February 2019.
In her previous work experience in Oman, Canada, Germany and USA she has furthered the development of academic university departments and the individual development of young adults by bringing people and cultures together in various projects. You can catch her off and on the field, interacting with individuals doing sports.
Short description of their social media campaign:
This campaign amais to raise awareness on the topic of sustainability in our daily life. It gives food for thought to think about one’s own usage of power, CO2, garbage and food waste.
Milos Lukic holds a bachelor’s degree in oriental studies (module Arabic language, literature and culture) as well as master’s degree in international politics (module international security) from University of Belgrade. He worked for multiple non-governmental organizations, such as Arabic Cultural Centre, Young Researchers of Serbia and Belgrade Centre for Human Rights.
Milos was part of the team that organized the Belgrade Security Forum, the biggest security initiative in the Western Balkans. He was a recipient of multiple scholarships and awards during his studies, National Scholarship of the Republic of Serbia and Studenica Foundation Scholarship, among many others. He is passionate about human rights, green activism, gender equality, mental health and geopolitics of the Middle East and North Africa region.
In his free time, he likes to read, spend time outside, jog and learn new languages.
Currently, Milos is doing an ESC project in Germany, where he works in a social field, mainly with children and refugees.
Name of the campaign: Mental health: no shame and hidden pain behind ‘I’m okay’.
My idea for this campaign was simple: create a social media campaign with the topic of mental health, artistically express it and break the stigma around it. The goal was to help people realize they are not alone in their struggles and that there is a community of people that will welcome them. I also put some links where people can find hotlines for mental health issues represented in the picture.
2019-2020 European College of Liberal Arts Mass Media and Mass Culture (uncompleted). 2019 Belarusian State University Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences Master’s degree (Master’s studies). Completed specialization: Communication Management. 2017 Belarusian State University Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences Bachelor degree (Undergraduate studies). Completed specialisation: social communication
I have been interested in culture and art since my student years. After my internship I was invited to work at the gallery “Art-Belarus”, in 2018 I became PR manager of the art festival of young artists “Осенний Салон”, organized press conferences, dealt with media communication, including promotion of festivals in social media. In the spring of the same year I worked as a PR specialist at the international art festival Art-Minsk, where I performed the same functions. As a PR specialist I worked on more than 40 projects.
I am also interested in foreign languages, art history and 80-90s fashion photography. I consider myself as a person who is eager to develop and gain knowledge and expand it.
Campaign name: Belarusian education on the road to change
This campaign is aimed at discussing the possibilities for the development of the education system in Belarus, taking into account the national context, trends in the development of the European educational space and contemporary global challenges.
The goal of the campaign is to inform and engage stakeholders in constructive communication and joint actions in order to achieve the common goal of changing the education system in Belarus in line with European standards of quality of educational programmes, methodology and management.
Holding an MA Degree in Germanic Languages of Sumy State University (Ukraine) and currently finishing her studies in English and American Studies at the University in Bamberg (Germany).
Passionate about learning and teaching foreign languages, has been working as a tutor and as a translator of English and German into Russian/Ukrainian.
Also has been interested in marketing; during her internship in Brussels helped with the promotion of the EU-sponsored project for SMEs’ security.
In her spare time, enjoys reading about and learning self-improvement processes, writing about her life in Germany for the Russian-speaking audience on Instagram and doing fitness.
Instagram: АЛЕКСАНДРА | ФИЛОЛОГ В 🇩🇪 (@belaya_alex) • Instagram photos and videos
Social media campaign name: cultural shock and identity crisis
The main purpose: to inform people what is the cultural shock, which stages the adaptation in a new country goes through, how to overcome the possible identity crisis resulting from it, and reinforce the feeling of well-being while integrating into a new society.
Anastasia studies German as a foreign language at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich.
Has been working as a teacher, tutor and as a translator of English and German into Russian.
In her free time she likes to read, spend time outside and hike.
Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/anastasia_khalid/
Social Media campaign “Clean & save mountains for everyone“
When Anastasia moved to Bavaria, initially she used to visit Mountains alone, also during studies she was working for International Office of the University where she was organising Hiking Trips for Erasmus/International students. Moreover, Anastasia was a travel guide for most of her relatives and friends who were visiting her here in Bavaria. During all the above mentioned activities, she realised that most of the people don’t know how to prepare to go on a hike. Which necessary things to take and which useless heavy things to leave at home. Also, a lot of people don’t know the untold rules and manners of hiking; such that they don’t disturb or hurt the nature as well as don’t harm themselves also.
This activity which started just as a simple hobby turned into a passion and now Anastasia wants to share this passion and knowledge with others via instagram posts.
Seth has a bachelor degree in International Relations, which he earned in the United States. He is currently a double degree-seeking student at both the Universities of Konstanz in Konstanz, Germany and Charles in Prague, Czech Republic. He has volunteered and interned throughout his academic career in many international and intercultural organizations, from the German-American Institute (DAI) to Forum 2000. Due to Seth’s interest in politics and diplomacy, he aspires to become a diplomat and eventually work to help facilitate European and transatlantic issues and cooperation.
He speaks: English, German, French, and some Czech
Campaign Name-Czech patriotism: The physical exhibition of “a Prayer for Marta”
Czech people are familiar with the famous Czech song “a Prayer for Marta” and the Czech proverb “Bez Práce Nejsou Koláče” (There’s no reward without effort). This song is about encouraging peace and positive feelings towards Czech Republic, whereas the well-known saying represents the identity of a hard-working people who are absolutely resilient. Hence, the theme of my campaign is to shed light on the freedoms that the Czech people enjoy and celebrate today, due in part to the valuable actions of many who risked their lives under communism, and devoted themselves to a cause of freedom, including that in the freedom of expression. The posts are from the 32nd celebration of Czech Republic’s (former Czechoslovakia) bloodless Velvet Revolution, which occurred in 1989. These posts are intended to elicit an informative approach of events that shape identity and help emphasize the impactful relationships that take form connecting the country and its culture.
Dilyana finishes her studies of Operations and management of maritime transportation systems at the Naval Academy of Bulgaria and works for three years in a big logistics company. Until she participated in her first Erasmus+ Cooperation Project, which took place in Greece, dealing with the topic of improvement of refugees integration.
Dilyana then decided to become a volunteer through the European Solidarity Corps and got accepted in an NGO in Stuttgart, that focuses its work on refugees, migrants, young adults, and kids.
After the end of her volunteering, she continues to be active in local and international intercultural projects. Dilyana is interested in the topics of culture, arts, sustainability, human rights, mental health, non-violent communication, social work, and intercultural learning.
Currently, she is working on improving her skills and knowledge, and gathering experience in social work.
In the future, she wants to get more involved in local and international projects, and to try to bring more diversity to society, as a further goal of hers is to apply that knowledge in Bulgaria, her home country.
Dani is a former student of English Literature in Syria and a current Social Work student at Hochschule Esslingen.
In 2016, he did a voluntary service in Jugendwerk der AWO Württemberg in which he became a Board member from 2019 until 2021. JW der AWO focuses its work on young adults, kids, refugees
Since then, he’s been active in organizing and supervising youth camps and cultural projects.
Dani is interested in political and social discussions as a mean of breaking stereotypes and bringing people closer.
In his free time, he mainly likes playing music hiking and photography.
Short description of their social media campaign (Dilyana & Dani)
This campaign is focused on people with migrant and refugee backgrounds. Through the campaign we want to share their stories to show how little we may know, when we first meet a person, but already have prejudices in our heads. Moreover we want to share places that have a special meaning to our speakers. Have you ever lived somewhere outside your country and wanted to feel at home just for a few minutes? These special places give a feeling of home and bring up memories that are so dear to our hearts.
Vladimer Narsia is a Georgian, holds MTh in Theology and LLM in canon law from the UK.
Vladimer teaches university courses on religion and politics nexus:
Christian theology and canon law. Vladimer is interested in religion and conflict resolution; peace study; and interreligious education and dialogue.His motto is: “Who seeks not a friend he is his own foe!”
(From a Georgian medieval epic poem: “The Knight in the Tiger’s Skin.” verse 854).
Bachelor’s student studying Political Sciences in Tbilisi State University. FLEX (future leaders exchange program) alumni. NGO youth hub for freedom team member.
Ilona is currently a second year university student studying Political sciences. She is a FLEX exchange program alumni, a program in which she spent her junior year of high school studying in the United States.
Ilona has previously worked for american councils as a city representative promoting progressive ideas in youth of her community. Currently she is working on coordinating a project with the support of WFUNA. Although she would like to expand her career in conflict studies and human rights protection Environmental activism is something ilona’s deeply passionate about.Among her studies she is currently publishing her first article on sustainable development and the share of dumpsites in the pollution of the black sea coast within the workframe of Swedish-Georgian environmental research organization.
Ilona actively participates in different workshops and conferences to expand competency in her field of study, recently she was part of the EU negotiations seminar and will soon be visiting Brussels for further implementations.
The motto that Ilona identifies with is “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm”. Winston S. Churchill
Social media :
Miranda Tedeshvili is a holder of a Master Degree in Public Administration, from Caucasus University. She is a holder of Several grants and scholarships, in 2011 she got the Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) scholarship and went to the USA to deepen her knowledge.
In 2012 she got the 100% governmental scholarship, which covered tuition fee for her Bachelor studies, during her Bachelor Studies she got Erasmus Mundus Scholarship and spent one academic year at Babes Bolyai University(Cluj Napoca, Romania), where she was a member of International Students Club and was actively involved in several workshops and conferences.
During her bachelor studies she was actively involved in several workshops, trainings and conferences.
She has done an internship in several Non-governmental Organizations.
After finishing bachelor studies, she got Caucasus University scholarship to cover the tuition fee of her Master studies.
She has done several internships in Georgia, Bulgaria and Poland and has participated in several Erasmus plus youth projects.
Her research interests include Democratization, Peace and Security Studies, Social Movements.
A motto that Miranda identifies with is: ,, It always seems impossible until it is done’’. Nelson Mandela .
Mariam Kintsurashvili graduated from Tbilisi State University with a bachelor’s degree in the faculty of law .
Her direction is civil Law. Now Mariami is working in the banking sector. Nowadays She gains knowledge in the marketing and PR sector from various projects and courses such as the Academy of Digital Industries. Mariami is involved in different projects and social activities in Georgia.
Mariami took part in youth exchanges led by Erasmus + in 2021.
Mariami’s motto : “Wake up with determination, Go to bed with satisfaction.”
My name is Ana Azariashvili, 19 years old from Georgia. I was born in Georgia; I was raised here and studied my whole life. Currently, I am a sophomore student at the Free University of Tbilisi, studying Business Administration. I graduated from a physical-mathematical school named after Georgian mathematician Ilia Vekua, where I learned about non-governmental organizations and their projects; how I could participate in them, and get skills that I am currently using. From 9th grade I started participating in Volunteering projects, also for 2 years I was a member of a youth non-governmental organization, where I got a big experience.
Currently, I am focusing on my studies and at the same time planning a social campaign for the Euro Caravan project. This is my very first international project and I hope that project will be successful and helpful for everyone.
LinkedIn: Ana Azariashvili
Mari Malakmadze holds a bachelor degree in Business Administration and Management from Ilia State University.
Currently she is a Master’s student in Batumi State Shota Rustaveli University with a degree in Clinical Psychology.
In 2017 she got a Erasmus + scholarship and was studying 1 semester at Babes Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca, Romania).
Now she works as a training manager in Batumi and at the same time is involved in youth projects.
Anna is a graduate student of International Relations at the Georgian National University. She is the holder of several grants and scholarships. Underwent training within the Erasmus School of Gender Equality Leaders. Has been the organizer of various projects, forums, and conferences. Anna is currently the Ambassador for Equality in Georgia and the organizer of the NGO Umbrella on Gender Equality.
Anna is also an official member of the Executive Committee of the Diplomat’s Club, Deputy Chair of the European Integration Committee in the Student Parliament. She is actively involved in various research centers: the Francis Fukuyama Front for Democracy Research Center, the Center for Economic Policy Research, where the latest Western political books are translated into Georgian and distributed to young people. Actively involved in various activities mainly in organizational matters.
Recently joined the School of Future Leaders where he will undergo training. Anna is trying to contribute to the building of a strong democracy in Georgia through her active work. A motto that Anna identifies with is “Do not ask what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for it” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Nino Ghvinashvili, bachelor’s student of Business administration (management) program at Business and technology university (BTU). Project assistant in an environmental organization. (Let’s Do It Georgia)
Nino is a project assistant who mainly collaborates with project partners, companies and stakeholders. Before starting a job in Let’s Do It Georgia, she worked 2 of years as a creative director for Georgian startup Pinka. Nino now advises different types of startups how to start their Businesses.
Nino took part in Erasmus + project “Outdoors for Healthy Lifestyle“ in 2021.
Nino’s motto: ‘’ Never wait for the finish to begin’’
Mariam Skhirtladze – 19 years old, a second year student at the Tbilisi state university, faculty of law.
Mariam is very interested in constitutional law and wants to study comparative constitutional law.
Now she works as a lawyer and this is her first project about intercultural matters.
Graduated with a Bachelor’s in English Language and Literature from Akaki Tsereteli University. Except for academic studying she was involved in different kinds of projects. For instance, she participates in informal camps, projects. Later, Mariam became a certificated leader of Children and Youth National Center of Georgia and worked for informal education.
After graduation Mariam did exchange mobility in Romania, Sighisoara. Project was under Erasmus+ and she worked for a youth organization and was charged in promotion and supporting volunteering activities for the local community.Then, Mariam continued MA degree of European Studies at Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University.
Currently, she is project manager at World Union of Georgian Students.
Besides that, she tries to raise her awareness related to non-formal education and is so passionate to have new opportunities to share and receive competences about informal education on the international level.
Marta is a second-year student at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.
She studies at the Faculty of Intercultural Communication and Translation of Two Foreign Languages (German and English).
Martha has always been interested in intercultural relations and communications, so she is involved in this project.
This is her first experience in such an action.
Youssef Tohme is a 5th year senior Electromechanical Engineering student at Saint Joseph University of Beirut. He is currently the Vice-President of the USJ-IEEE club.
Youssef is born to a Ukrainian/Lebanese family and is currently living in Lebanon. He is an active member of the Ukrainian diaspora in Lebanon and is a winner of the 30 under 30 Ukrainian World Congress competition. He contributes in developing the Lebanese/Ukrainian youth.
In 2014, Youssef created one of the first pages to support the Ukrainian army on Instagram (ukrainian_army) and has around 13k followers. On this page, Youssef is actively fighting propaganda, fake news and constantly showing support for his compatriots.
As a parallel passion and carrier, Youssef is a professional Taekwondo and Brazilian jiujitsu fighter and a multiple time Lebanese champion. With enthusiasm and motivation, he is leading young fighter teams as a coach. In fact, he is a holder of an international coaching certificate and is currently 2nd Dan black belt in taekwondo and a blue belt in jujitsu.
Youssef is actively volunteering in social works one of which was cleaning Beirut streets after the devastating Beirut port explosion in August 2020.
He is a fluent speaker in five languages: Ukrainian, Arabic, French, English and Russian and is always open to learn new languages and explore new cultures.
Youssef’s life motto: “Fight and you shall prevail!” – Taras Shevchenko
Mykola Komarychko is a high capacity financial manager with success in a wide variety of settings in both the non-profit and for profit sectors. He is passionate about engineering process improvement and navigating transitions, resulting in sustainable efficiencies and cost savings. In addition to core accounting competencies, he is experienced at managing other support functions such as IT, Human Resources, and Operations.
Mykola has directed the accounting and finance functions of multiple organizations as a full-time employee and as a consultant. As Chief Financial Officer of Dutchstar he led the integration of two finance departments and provided increased visibility and accountability of program operations through improving financial models and analysis. Mykola began his career as the Accounting Manager for Railway Company, where he directed and participated in the creation of an effective financial model of financial management.
A motto that Mykola identifies with is “Success doesn’t come to you; you go to it.”
Nazar Sloboda’s interest in interreligious dialogue came into fruition when he began his formal interreligious academic formation at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. His studies in Western Europe together with working in the USA enriched Nazar with a refined understanding of the task of interreligious dialogue as being multidimensional and complex and it also helped him to become more realistic regarding the expectations in the field of interreligious studies.
During his work in St. Nicholas Eparchy, Nazar was involved in various interreligious initiatives, conducted under the patronage of the Archdiocese of Chicago and leading academic Christian institutions in the Chicago metropolitan area. He also speaks Russian, which enables him to draw close parallels between the usually more reserved vision of the Eastern Orthodox Church and that of the Roman Catholic Church, which therefore provides him a balanced view of major Christian denominations in the field of interreligious affairs.
Being a student of the Faculty of International Relations in Ukraine, Olena Komisarenko acquired basic knowledge of religious studies and the principles of Interreligious Dialogue. Olena sees dialogue as a foundational process leading directly to creating an environment of high trust and openness, with reflective outlook to continuous learning, diversity, problemsolving, leadership, and cultural exchange.
In 2013, Olena moved to Hue, Vietnam where she worked as Economic and Administration Assistant Manager, where people of various beliefs collaborated in the same working environment. In 2015, she moved to Beijing, China and worked as a teacher of English for over a year. To her mind, dialogue is aimed at expanding our capacity for attention, awareness, care for others and learning with and from each other. It is about exploring the frontiers of what it means to be human in relationship to each other and our world. In 2016, Olena moved again, this time to Rome, Italy where she has been actively participating in the Economy of Francesco, the global movement of young economists, entrepreneurs, and change-makers under age 35.
Among initiatives of this movement is #AfghanWomenExist #TogetherWeStand aimed at expressing support and solidarity with Afghan women. In 2019, she also started her studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Angelicum. During one year as a Russell Berrie Fellow at the Angelicum.
In 2014 Bogdana graduated with a MA degree in Law and also a BA degree in Economics from Ivan Franko Lviv National University. Since that time she had been working at different branches of law, including legal advising, notary, and bankruptcy in Lviv and Odesa. From 2015 to 2021 Bogdana has been working as MP’s counselor and adviser at the Ukrainian parliament dealing with preparing legal documents, drafting bills of laws, and pre-conducting laws drafts anti-corruption expertise.
At the moment Bogdana Katarzhuk is gaining the Diploma in Interreligious Dialogue at Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, as she is greatly interested in this issue both personally and professionally. Moreover, she participated in different thematic programs, organized and held by Tertio Millenium Institute (Krakow, Poland) and Ukrainian Catholic Institute (Lviv).
Besides law and interreligious studies, Bogdana is passionate about the history of visual arts and now she is going to try herself working as a curator of modern art as well as make some steps for the promotion of Ukrainian art.
Nataliia Pavlyk, head and founder of NGO “The Oriental Studies Circle”, Media Coordinator of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue (Rome, Italy), PhD candidate in Philosophy, KAICIID Fellow.
Nataliia Pavlyk is the founder and head of NGO “The Oriental Studies Circle” working in the field of interreligious and intercultural dialogue. Over the years, she has implemented over 50 interfaith projects to promote dialogue and reconciliation between different traditions. She was a member of the International Working Group on Preventing Violent Extremism in Belgium and worked with unaccompanied minor refugees empowering Christian-Muslim dialogue in Austria. Nataliia worked at the World Council of Churches and State Service of Ukraine for Ethnic Affairs and Freedom of Conscience.
As a Russell Berrie Fellow in Interreligious Dialogue, Nataliia graduated from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Rome, Italy). She received two master’s degrees – in Philosophy (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy) and Ecumenical Studies (University of Geneva).
Currently Nataliia is a PhD candidate in Philosophy and a Media Coordinator of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue (Rome, Italy).
Khrystyna Fedechko ethnologist, historian. Founder of the charity organization “АГАПЕ”. Project and program manager Ukrainian Catholic University.
Khrystyna Fedechko postgraduate student at the Institute of Ethnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Currently working at the Ukrainian Catholic University, project and program manager. Also take part in charity and organize various charity events. Collect traditional antique clothes and organized exhibitions and master classes. Writing a column about folk clothes in a magazine “Локальна історія”.
Khrystyna’s motto: “Our life should be a sermon, not our words”
Nadiia Sybira is a postgraduate student of Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, volunteer with Taize community
She received two master’s degrees – in Linguistics at Lviv National University of Ivan Franko and Ecumenical Studies at Ukrainian Catholic University.
As a Russell Berrie Fellow in Interreligious Dialogue, Nadiia graduated from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in 2019 (Rome, Italy) and recently from the Pontifical Gregorian University where she finalized her licentiate in Christian-Jewish Studies at the Cardinal Bea Center.
Maksym Kolyba PhD, Deputy Director of the International Institute for Ethics and Contemporary Issues at the Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv, Ukraine), Senior Lecturer at the UCU Law School
Dr. Maksym Kolyba holds a PhD in Law.
PhD dissertation research was focused on the philosophic legal aspect of the freedom of religion.
Maksym is the author of a blog on contemporary social and political issues.
Stanislav is a Master’s student at the Sapienza University of Rome.
Mentor of the Young Energy Program.
ESC volunteer as well as Taize community volunteer.
Stanislav Taran is currently a Master’s student at the Sapienza University of Rome with a degree in Transport Systems Engineering. At the same time, he works as a mentor in the NGO “STAN Youth Organization” on the Young Energy project and creates with the project participants their educational trajectories and analyzes their further self-realization.
Stanislav gained valuable experience of working with teenagers in an international environment during his 11-month ESC volunteer project at the International Academy and Boarding School of Denmark from 2018-2019. Stanislav took part in a variety of youth exchanges led by Erasmus +, and also volunteered during the Taize meetings in (Basel, Switzerland) in 2018 and in (Madrid, Spain) in 2019.