The Change Starts in Minds

Posted September 25, 2011 from Ukraine
Dog shelter in Ternopil, Ukraine
Dog shelter in Ternopil, Ukraine
Dog shelter in Ternopil, Ukraine (1/1)

The biggest challenge of creating a change in my community is changing people’s mindsets. I live in Ukraine and it is post-Soviet country. Even though Ukraine has been independent for 20 years now, a lot of people still have that burden of old beliefs and opinions.

After I came back from the USA, where I spent last two years getting my master’s degree, I wanted to do something different with my life. I did not only want to write (since I am a journalist), but also wanted to do other things with media. In America I studied how to use social media so that it benefits business or organization, how to create websites and promote them and other things I did not know before. So I started my job search. “You are overqualified for this job and you are overqualified for Ukraine in general,” – they told me at one interview. I did not want that job anyway, but to hear that was a bit heartbreaking anyway.

I am still looking for a good well paid job that I would like. And while I am looking I decided not to sit on my couch and to apply my knowledge somewhere where it is needed. Thus I started volunteering at the local dog shelter. I always had passion for dogs and always wanted to help such places somehow. Now I do the same things there as I would do on a regular job – making sure the organization is present in social media, PR, working with media outlets, organizing press-conferences. I am being a media manager in the place where I really enjoy it. ( Yes, I am not getting paid for that and will never will. But hey, I do not have a regular job anyway, right? When I (and other volunteers) tell other people what we do, we sometimes get very unusual reactions. People from our community genuinely think we are getting paid for looking after homeless dogs. They also see other “benefits” in our actions. That is what I mean in changing mindsets of the members of our community. I am just happy not everyone here is like that and there are some really understanding and sympathetic people.

Being media manager, I am sure social media sites and the development of Web 2.0 gives all of us an opportunity to reach almost everyone we want. I know in some less developed countries Internet is still a luxury though, but I am sure the situation will change drastically fast. Digitalization of media gives us an opportunity to be global, to cooperate and to communicate with almost anyone we want in the whole world.

I see that WorldPulse is one of such communities that help to get people together. Since all of us here either are journalists or like journalism, we already have at least one thing in common. I am sure now that we can read each other’s stories, we can get to know each other and network in the future.

Voices of Our Future Application: Challenges and Solutions to Creating Change

Comments 4

Log in or register to post comments
  • Kemmy_O
    Sep 26, 2011
    Sep 26, 2011

    Hi Oleysa, first i would like to say welldone. U r indeed a change agent. Secondly id like to say i really identify with you. We happen to almost be in the same shoes so i wouldnt mind us talking more so id add you to my friends list now and i hope you do same so we can rub minds more. Welldone dearie, ur job cometh!

  • harinees
    Oct 03, 2011
    Oct 03, 2011

    Hi Olesya

    You have demonstrated that one can be a change agent in so many different ways. All the best in your job search - I am sure you will find something you love doing (and get paid for it!).

    I would have loved to see in your article other ideas on how to make use of worldpulse. Yes, it is an online networking forum, but it can be much more.


  • bluepearl2001
    Oct 03, 2011
    Oct 03, 2011

    Changing minds is a worldwide challenge that has been with us for thousands of years. You do seem to understand that one way to approach that challenge is through social media sites such as World Pulse. As you can see from your current volunteer position helping homeless dogs, getting the word out is part of the solution.

    Here is my question for you: There are so many other challenges facing people, and particularly women, all over the world. Are there any such challenges that speak to your heart as a woman or that inspire you to want to take action? I ask this question because you are a woman with training in both journalism and the use of social media sites. How wonderful it would be to also use your skills in that arena. Just something to think about.

    Best to you in your job search!

  • Darren Bunton
    Oct 04, 2011
    Oct 04, 2011


    Sounds like you have found the job of your dreams! You have a growing passion to help animals and people. As a media manager, you seem to have an equal joy. Do you often find yourself unable to tell the difference between what you enjoy doing, with what you should do? Do you notice that when others realize you are genuine, their minds change as a result of this realization? Good luck in your job search and following your passions. Thanks for you story.