Jot down the change that you are working to drive in the world. What will be different? How will the world/ your community/ your block be transformed?
At this point, the change I want to drive in the world is that of generosity. I am sharing knowledge and support and being there for one another even if they are an ocean away.
Instead of judging, I want people to accept, love, and accompany one another on life's journey.
Since teachers for Peace began, I have been overwhelmed by the kindness in people.
Why have you taken on this challenge? What moved you to action?
Teachers for Peace began when the war started, and the news was covered with pictures of women and children being uprooted due to the invasion of Russia in Ukraine- I had a teacher acquaintance who lived there, and I reached out and asked her how I could help. She asked if I could give free lessons to her children and students, which is how we started. Within the week, we had hundreds of students, and the community began to grow. I saw how much of an impact this had on the students, the women, and our volunteers. Everyone was so passionate about helping in any way they could. Teachers for Peace was a way to help by giving only a little bit of your time. Some teachers only do classes for 15 minutes a week. Those 15 minutes make all the difference in the life of a child hiding in the basement and being in the company of others, learning how to breathe and calm your mind. Speaking in English with a caring stranger from around the world, all of these scenarios bring hope, calm, and Peace to our students when they are enveloped in fear, uncertainty, and loneliness.
What example do you hope to set through your leadership?
I want to set an example of how easy this is. With a little bit of heart and energy. It does not take much to make a difference in someone's life. We need each other; people need people, and everyone can make a difference.
Your goals this year/over time: What will you follow, track, measure, and why?
In the past nine months, I have seen a community of women unite to support one another for altruistic reasons. Thanks to this, they feel better and happier. I want to see this community grow, touch more lives and empower more women to feel capable of surviving whatever hurdles or situations arise.
For The past 9 months, we have worked in emergency mode. We have yet to count the classes the teachers have given or the number of students in each category, and we have not been good about keeping any records.
We have the spreadsheet that dates back to our second week of work and the data from google forms. We have recently started to register students.
One of the reasons I would like funding is to pull and analyze the data we have to meet our target audience's needs better.
I would like to measure the following:
How many students have we helped/taught - I want to know
How many classes we have given. To know
How many classes do teachers teach? - to celebrate them.
Which classes have more popularity - to analyze what lessons to give and what times better suit the students.
The positive impact that we have in the lives of the children - in what are we helping and how we can help more
The positive impact we have on the lives of the teacher - to continue to have a positive effect and motivate teachers to continue to teach.
One of the most amazing things about Teachers for Peace is seeing all the beautiful acts of generosity, from birthday parties to Svetlana's cakes to the teacher's backgrounds and dedication. The notes that we get from the parents.
Recently two things have happened. We have two teenage girls who want to volunteer to teach English. They are dedicated to planning the lesson.
Ira has taken in a family of displaced Ukrainians from her house, which is a pay-it-forward effect.
Maria continues to share her gifts and volunteers with displaced children in her city.
More and more mothers and sisters are getting involved.
Teachers for Peace is more than just the lessons - it has impacted everyone who has volunteered.
Your co-leaders/collaborators: who is co-creating with you?
Your riches/currencies: Riches- what unique skills, networks, perspectives, and experiences do you bring to your movement leadership? Currencies- What can you offer to other partners and collaborators to support their goals?
My riches lie in my ability to get people excited. Motivate. - I should have been a wedding planner. LOL
Our riches as a group lies in our shared vision of a peaceful world where everyone interacts and helps one another, and everyone has the privilege of learning and being inspired. Believing they can be anything they strive to be. People realize that giving just a bit of their time, and sharing their knowledge or skills really can make a difference in someone else's life.
Who will benefit from your work? Who else cares that you make progress?
That has been the most fantastic part of all of this. Everyone who has participated in teachers for Peace has benefited. The teachers, the volunteers, the coordinators, the students, and the student's families.
Who are your non-believers or skeptics?
Perhaps that would be me, my inner self. Incredibly enough, everyone we have spoken to about Teachers for Peace, our mission our goals has eagerly jumped on board. Open Collective Europe has taken us under their wing as our fiscal host. Zoom.us was kind enough to donate ten free zoom accounts. Mumsabroad offered to make our logo and promote us. Twinkle gave free subscriptions to all of our 50 teachers.
How will you know you're successful: what will the world look like if your movement succeeds?
What would you accomplish to stop working on this initiative or movement?
Teachers for Peace began with the war in Ukraine; at first, we thought this would end when the war ended. The original group of coordinators and founders thought it would be short-lived, which is why they didn't continue. Since this has worn on, I have hosted 12 Ukrainians in my home. They have become family. Natalia, one of the most beautiful souls I have met on this journey, continues to live with my family. My eyes have been opened to the dire need that continues. Equally, for the students who have had to move abroad as the students, we have in Ukraine. I also see the willingness and need everyone has to give. How good it is and how healing it is for everyone. Education is needed in all areas and corners of the world. I can't stop working on this. Teachers for Peace has now become a passion. I would only be able to stop working on this initiative when there were to be a competent team that is continuing the work. Encouraging the younger generation to teach, share stories, inspire, motivate and empower.
But now I see the great need for Teachers for Peace to continue and grow.
What other thoughts does this exercise spark that you want to capture?
I am so very grateful for the opportunity to be part of the collective starling cohort. This great privilege will lead to Teachers for Peace becoming an independent, well-recognized NGO - a movement of generosity.
I love the idea - learn, adopt , adapt, share. I am so inspired by everything I have learned so far. I see so many similarities between Teachers for Peace and Giving Tuesday