When girls are supported and empowered, they grow into women that contribute to a more resilient, democratic societies.
Viktoria Semenenko is an author from Kropyvnytskyi in Kirovohrad, Ukraine. Over the past two years, Viktoria has published four books about women’s leadership. Her work has become a source of inspiration for many women in Ukraine: “My personal story is that of a strong girl from a small provincial town. So are the women in my books; they are strong, purposeful, confident, busy, caring, sensitive, and inspired.”
Viktoria’s journey to become a voice for Ukraine’s women started early in life. She always dreamed of becoming a journalist. She became one, and then succeeded in becoming editor-in-chief of “Zoria,” a prominent newspaper in Kirovohrad. At the age of 25, she decided to devote her time to helping people living with chronic diseases.
She joined 100% Life, a USAID partner organization that helps Ukrainians access life-saving medicines and treatments. She has spent the past five years telling the stories of persons living with HIV, raising awareness about their challenges and advocating for their needs. She tells stories that bring hope and support to people in need. Viktoria is currently working on her fifth book, devoted to changing perceptions about persons with disabilities.
“Working in the charity sector, almost every day I encounter different women. I write about them so that they can motivate others who might get discouraged, so that these women feel their strength and understand how important it is to be themselves.”
“I faced many obstacles in my life that could have stopped me. But I always believed in myself, was purposeful, and followed my dream. I have taught myself to look for opportunities in life and not for reasons. Because if you do not believe in yourself, why should others believe in you?” – Victoria says.