Feminist workshop changed the head of the organization and is currently undergoing the handover process. These are major changes for us, as despite the dynamic development, multiple approaches, and dozens of people who were with the organization during its ups and downs, one person, Yosh, has led the organization since 2016. We want to thank Yosh and welcome our new leader, Olha Yashchenko.
Yosh was one of the co-founders of Feminist Workshop in 2014. She created the initiative together with several friends, most of whom shortly moved from Lviv or left the group. In 2016 we registered the NGO, and Yosh agreed to be registered as a leader because of her experience with paperwork and bureaucratic procedures. At that time all the processes were quite informal and chaotic. But Yosh made it her goal to transform the organization into a lasting structure, with a vision and operational plan, where activists would be paid for their work. Without all this, it was hard to imagine the societal changes that the team members were striving for. That’s how she became a full-fledged leader and a fundraiser.
Our way was both inspiring and challenging. Before us, no grassroots organizations would manage to secure sufficient funding. We figured things out as we went. In 2021 after yet another crisis, Yosh decided to leave the sphere and close the organization as there was no one willing to take her responsibilities. We even made a farewell party where we announced our decision to our community. A month after the party several people agreed to take on the organization, and we began to work on the process of the transfer of powers and a new action plan. In February Russia invaded Ukraine, and we realized that it was not the right time to give up on activism and leave behind all our accomplishments. Our community and work experience secured a solid base that helped us to organize humanitarian and political work to protect the country. That’s why instead of closing the organization we began scaling up, as Yosh was relentlessly searching for the resources and help for the community,
Once the full-scale invasion hit, activists from our community and many newcomers joined the volunteering activities of the Feminist Workshop. It was then that Yosh invited a member of the community Olya Yaschchenko to deal with the process management. Yosh recognized her impressive skills in managing the processes. Olya has experience working in management, non-formal education, and communications. She can bring people together even in a stressful environment, keep up with complex processes, and have a way with everyone.
From that time on, Olya started to get involved in managing the organization. Yosh and Olya were making all the management decisions together. Thanks to Olya we have built an organizational structure and scaled up our work several-fold, and Yosh secured the budget necessary for these transformations.
Now Yosh is transferring all her responsibilities to Olya. Official formalization and streamlining of the processes are yet to come, but already we ask you to congratulate and support Olya Yaschchenko in her new position. Our team is genuinely happy about these changes. Although we are sad to say goodbye to Yosh, we believe that everyone should do what is relevant for them at the moment. We are grateful for Yosh’s work and are glad that she is handing over the responsibilities to Olya who is both caring and professional.
These are Yosh’s farewell words:
I am glad to leave Feminist Workshop at the stage of such intense work when the scale of activities is bigger than ever. Throughout my 9 years in the organization, I’ve been completely burned out several times. That happened due to the lack of resources and acknowledgment from society (even from the partners and the donors). I was ready to leave feminism as a work, regardless of what was to happen to the organization. Eventually, however, in the times of the most acute crisis, at the beginning of the full-scale war, my investments in people and processes finally paid off. I am glad that many cool feminists joined and are still joining the organization. They are motivated by the opportunity to contribute to the country’s development by working in Feminist Workshop. I am convinced that Olya will steadily support and inspire both the team and Ukrainians overall.
And these are Olya’s inaugural words:
First and foremost, I’d like to thank Yosh for all the work, for all the accomplishments, and, specifically, for our productive and supportive collaboration. From the moment when I joined the organization I learned from her knowledge and experience every day, and I cherish these moments. It is worth noting that the process of handover is challenging for us, but all the team of Feminist Workshop do their best to mitigate the impact of the transitional period. That brings us even closer together. New challenges are on our way, but so are new results. I am proud of the fact that during the full-scale war, our activists keep finding the inner strength and motivation to work willing to transform society and bring victory closer. I will do everything in my power to support them, to expand the activities of Feminist Workshop, and help it grow and evolve.