Friday, 29, September, 2023

“One day in a school dormitory, my roommates quarreled with each other, making a conflict about placing a desk in the corner by the door or window.

They spent the whole day on solving the issue: both of them were giving their arguments to prove they were right - time that should have been spent on doing academic tasks was spent “successfully” on placing an item in that process.

There was no certain condition (actually, it's impossible for me to do my studies before a desk finds its own space) and even desire (truly, it's far from honesty to be busy with your own business while someone's nose is bleeding beside you) to study something. After researching deeper, we decided to place the desk between the bookshelf and cupboard. However, in a school exam my testing paper was filled with questions from a topic I missed that day. Then, though all in my mind was whether a desk should be by a window or not, I was out of stress with the rebuilt friendship in our room. It was a lifetime experience, not only an academic one, which taught how to be cautious about every detail of my life.

When I heard about Ukrainian youth who strived for peace, I didn't need some more time to imagine their condition: they are also losing social hours, not only academic ones. Silence and ignorance cannot be a true decision. However, it was time when my low frequency sound waves did produce high pitched sounds.

To contribute to the bright vision of tomorrow's world where my peers and I are responsible for, I looked for new ways, new opportunities, and new destinations to put my signature on the document guaranteeing our future: The ENGin program gives me such a chance that I can support my Ukrainian peers, giving English lessons and building friendship bonds.

Sofia is a 17-year-old college student from Cherkasy, having a lot in common with me (the same age; the same interests in Physics and History, the same talents in arts). During this period Sofia and I have not been only student and teacher: Sofia and I have built a strong friendship.

We are friends.

Maybe, most see it as just taking usual courses, but we have done much more.

We conquered peaks of difficulties we faced every time: there were such times that Internet connection was cut, and so poor. However, we managed to keep “connection”.

We brightened days filled with stress and depression: there were such times when we spoke only about our dreams and how to live a happy life.

We managed to stay calm in the progress of our studies despite the continuous noise of air alarms.

We built our new destination through the challenges the war has created on a daily basis.

Today Sofia is a good English speaker.

It is a great success for us, reaching the point of being fluent in English from the beginner level in a few months.

It is a great experience for us, going ahead, learning even in hard times.

It is a great friendship between us, keeping our belief and desire all the time.

I have not only taught English, but also learned more about society and explored deeper the power of keeping the planet healthy.

I did my best.

I am doing my best.

I am going to do my best.

Though I do not have the ability to cover the whole Ukraine with armor, I do have the potential to cover my peer's learning desires with my knowledge and experience.

I am still cautious about every detail of our life.”


Firdavs Zavkiev

ENGin volunteer

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