“My biggest achievement is my family. My lovely wife, children and two beautiful granddaughters. Also my life. I am a very positive and practical person. If I have a goal I go to this goal. But the big obstacle is this war. We pray daily for it to stop. And with The Lord’s help we will overcome it.”
Rostyslav is a mediator from Ukraine, born in Odesa, where he also studied at the National Economic University. He has over 35 years of experience in Strategic Coaching and Adults Training in private, and business relations, over 25 in consulting on Organizational Development, Innovations Financing, Capital Market and FDI attraction, and over 20 in public and government relations and CSR. After the Orange Revolution, he moved to Kyiv and worked for the State Agency for Investment and Innovations as a Director of the Investment Department. Before that, all his life he was involved in cross-cultural relations, and investor relations by arranging deals and mergers with foreign investors for Ukrainian companies that were privatized in the 90s. As he says this kind of mediation, facilitation of meetings with investors, and creation of good investor and local community relationships was interesting for him. Rostyslav lives in the suburbs of Kyiv with his wife, dog, and cat. He is also a retired university professor, devoting his free time to volunteering and supporting companies with mediation.
Fighting for Ukraine
For 15 years Rostyslav is also a Rotarian, twice elected as president of 2 different clubs in Kyiv. Currently, he serves as a District 2232 trainer and executive director of the Rotary Kyiv Capital club. “As a Rotarian, I knew about conflicts, and mediation, we touched this subject sometimes with different consultants, specialists, etc. during investigations, and roundtables,” Rostyslav says. He also mentions that he started supporting Mediators Beyond Borders International as a member right before the Russian aggression on Ukraine in February 2022. “We had this war for 8 years, and during those years people from the east came as refugees to Kyiv, Odesa, and Lviv. In Ukraine, a diverse country with many ethnicities, languages, and religions, we had those questions to answer, how to correctly engage them to be a part of the local community? How to create a good environment for them?” he says. Asked about the current situation in Ukraine, Rostyslav states that nobody is safe now in the country, the rockets could come to any city, any region. The situation is especially dangerous in the eastern part. In Kyiv where he lives now it improved, but at the beginning of this aggression in February, they experienced daily bombing, waking up to the sounds of an explosion every morning.
The Role of Rotary
Speaking about the help that Rotary International provides for Ukraine, the next day after the aggression, district governor Volodymyr Bondarenko, started a District Coordination Committee. “We started to meet daily, twice, in the morning and evening to coordinate all kinds of support, applying for local hospitals, communities, etc. When refugees needed food, and drink, we coordinated it” Rostyslav recalls. Now almost all the Rotary clubs in Ukraine opened accounts and arranged direct relations with foreign districts and clubs. The Coordination Committee still operates and holds meetings each evening, to share ideas, news, and some extra needs. As a retired person, Rostyslav can use his free time to help. The most recent contribution to rebuilding Ukraine was providing two dentist chairs from Sweden Rotarians for Chernihiv province in the north of Ukraine – the region invaded first in February. Rostyslav says the area was very much destroyed in the first days of aggression. When Ukrainian troops fought off the Russian army, all infrastructure: schools, shops, and hospitals, were destroyed. “What could be stolen, was stolen. They stole everything. Hospitals are empty buildings now. We are trying to collect equipment, and the other program which we started is module houses for families in the area because houses were almost completely destroyed. In some areas there are no houses at all” he adds.
In rebuilding the country, Rostyslav hopes for support from the MBBI community. He is interested to learn about mediation, getting support, training, and knowledge – on how to use it to help Ukraine. “With 8 million internally displaces persons without house, money, work, their relatives, it is a very stressful situation. We need the proper expertise of mediators to deal with this. How to find a proper way to introduce them, let them feel welcome, and help to be a part of the local community.”
Article by Maciej Witek, MBBI Writer