May 9, 2023, 15:00

Each of us can advocate for Ukraine’s interests – Evelina Kurilets

Today, many tools help to advocate and defend Ukraine’s interests abroad.

It was emphasized by Evelina Kurilets, Director at Razom for Ukraine Charitable Foundation, at a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukraine. 

She noted that for Razom’s advocacy team, representing Ukraine’s interests, particularly in the United States, is primarily about building relationships and sharing experiences and resources. According to Evelina Kurilets, the American Coalition for Ukraine’s creation is a vivid example of such an exchange of experience. 

“It includes more than 40 organizations: Baltic, Syrian, Ukrainian, Georgian, and United Sikhs. Having another country as their homeland, or the homeland of their ancestors, these people call the United States home, even as US citizens. They share values that are close to us, suffering at the hands of the Russian Federation. So they understand the importance of sanctions, the importance of standing up for justice, they understand the importance of legal accountability. Altogether we organized this summit and met with congress members and their representatives in Congress. Together with us, they are advocating for common interests,” emphasized the charitable foundation director.

Evelina Kurilets stressed that advocacy tools might include such things as raising the voices of Ukrainians and their needs and promoting Ukrainian culture.

“Every international student going abroad, every person who comes to the States is a representative of Ukraine, and whether we speak the same language, how we convey our thoughts, what we say about Ukraine – all this is advocacy that each of us can do,” she added.

Citing an example of advocacy for Ukraine in the United States, Evelina Kurilets noted that community mobilization is an essential means for organizations to use.

“Many territorial organizations mobilize, share experiences, exchange information on how to communicate with their congressmen, and how to bring their voices to them. This is also an extremely effective mechanism, an advocacy tool,” she said.

In addition, the director of the Charitable Foundation highlighted the importance of expertise in advocacy.

“We work with medical institutions, and we support our advocates. That is, the expertise plays a crucial role in advocacy.”

We recall that the Ukrainian Action Summit, initiated by the Razom for Ukraine Foundation and Partners from the American Coalition for Ukraine, took place in the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC, on April 23-25. The forum brought together more than 300 participants. Summit participants met with representatives of 160 U.S. Congressional offices to discuss, among other things, steps Congress can take to help Ukraine, including recognizing the invasion of Ukraine as genocide, classifying the Wagner Group as a foreign terrorist organization, and increasing and extending military support for Ukraine.

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