The Head of Kyiv City Vitali Klitschko has awarded the winners of the city competition program "Kyivite of the Year 2020" on March 4. Among the thirteen women awarded as part of the celebration of women's leadership in overcoming COVID-19 in various nominations, there is also a Muslimah - Elena Mironenko, the head of the women's social organization "Maryam". She was recognized as "Best" in the "Charity" nomination. It should be noted that the preposition for the awarding of Elena came to the Kyiv City State Administration from The Kyiv City Center for Gender Equality, Prevention, and Counteraction to Violence with which SO "Maryam" has been cooperating for a long time.
As Elena Mironenko said, the cooperation of the "Maryam" volunteers with the Center became especially close during the pandemic, which coincided with the revitalization of the Сenter itself. In addition to the shelter for a long-term stay for victims of domestic violence, also two crisis rooms have appeared in the Center, where those who suffer from the physical, psychological, or economic violence of a domestic tyrant, regardless of gender, can live for some time.
- It is clear that due to the increase in the number of wards, a lot of help was also required, so "Maryam" decided to support the Сenter not only with food or clothing but more with masks due to their acute shortage. And as we all remember it was almost impossible to find medical masks in pharmacies. We bought natural fabrics and our volunteers made reusable masks, which we then handed over to the Center. In turn, The Kyiv City Center for Gender Equality, Prevention, and Counteraction to Violence responded with joy to our initiatives of holding seminars, trainings and conversations for women and adolescents in the Islamic Cultural Center. Psychologists and other representatives of the Сenter came to us, - says Elena Mironenko.
At the same time, she notes that she does not consider this award to be her personal:
- Since I am the head of the Maryam organization, I was awarded, but it is not a testimony to my personal merits, but to the merits and efforts in charity and volunteering of the organization itself, this is respect for the merits of each activist. In this context, I would like to note the constant participation of Olha Fryndak (until recently - the head of the League of Muslim Women of Ukraine. - Ed.) who initially not only coordinated our cooperation with the Center for Gender Equality but also procured essential food products and basic necessities for the wards of the Center. I cannot fail to mention that she is the initiator of many other activities carried out by Muslim women, - says Elena Mironenko.
Elena also recalled that the socially significant activities of the sisters were already noted last year: Amal Tkachenko and Anastasia Kharchenko were recognized as "Volunteer of the Year 2020". They received this title from the Euromaidan-SOS organization.
The head of the SO "Maryam" emphasized that the activists of the organization do not work for awards or certificates:
- Of course, it's nice to receive such awards, but not because it flatters our vanity, no! It is pleasant because it means the correctness and necessity of our work for the whole society, including the residents of the capital, and motivates us to further activities. After all, we work, first of all, for the sake of the Almighty, and not for worldly fame.
At the award ceremony, held at the Museum of Kyiv, the Head of the capital Vitali Klitschko said:
“Today, we traditionally award our women with the distinction “Kyivite of the Year”. The women who have realized themselves, have done a lot of important and useful things for our city and its inhabitants. 13 Kyiv women of different professions are receiving the awards. Among them, there are public figures and legal scholars, crisis managers, and women who provide social services to residents of the city on a daily basis. Many of you are involved in charity work, as well as our doctors."
He noted that the capital supported the decision of UN Women to mark women's leadership in overcoming COVID-19, and it was Kyiv that became the first city in Ukraine where this initiative was implemented.
The event was also attended by Erika Kvapilova, Head of UN Women in Ukraine, and Jaime Nadal, Head of The United Nations Population Fund in Ukraine.
Jaime Nadal in his speech noted the significant progress of the Ukrainian capital in the fight against cases of domestic violence and presented the Head of the city with the honorary award "Kyiv - a city free from domestic violence".
- “I would also like to emphasize,” said Vitali Klitschko, - “that the capital will continue to support women's organizations and movements because this is a powerful energy for achieving equal opportunities in our city. Our roadmap is the European Charter for Equality and the Action Plan, developed with the participation of the National Democratic Institute. I want to thank you dear women for your work, endurance, for your intelligence and wisdom! Thank you for giving your talent and time for the sake of changes in our city and country!".