National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla academy”
I opened my eyes with a great feeling, that today is Friday! The most beloved day of everyone who has a 5-days working week :)
I had a bouncy mood because I knew that this Friday was going to be very dynamic, and what is the most important - two days-off were ahead!
This Friday wasn't as tough as usual week-days at the University, and I was done with my classes in the afternoon. Right after classes I went to the driving courses where I practise driving a car and prepare for driving license exam. It was only my 5th class, and these lessons - are the only driving experience I ever had, so driving on a narrow streets of Podil with its crazy traffic is really not the easiest thing to do for a beginner, but what I like the most about it - is that I am absolutely concentrated on driving and do not have a single thought in my mind at that moment. It is a great remedy from stressful working days, i guess.
After that, with just 10 minutes break enough only for buying a ban and a carton of juice in the nearby shop, I went to work - actually that was my last working day at the telephone hot-line at the Ukrainian NGO called "Committee of Electors of Ukraine". The purpose of this hot-line is giving legal advise to citizens on various matters related to local elections in Ukraine. It was really a hot line, as there were a lot of calls, however, most of them were not questions but informing about violations of legislation on elections. Some of the violations were really shocking, like coercing employees of one factory in Kyiv region into voting for a particular candidate, or otherwise they would have been fired, and I was disappointed that those unstable and corrupt times of the past are returning back into Ukraine's reality.
After my shift was over, I met up with my music band-mates and we had rather fruitfull rehearsal. Playing music is also a great antidepressant, so almost the whole Friday afternoon my activities were about fighting moral tiredness bordering on entertainment:)
Before meeting my friends, with whom I was planning to attend the Italian movie festival, I accidently got under the November rain, and it was so sudden that just within 2 minutes I was soaked to the skin. Fortunatelly, abnormaly warm weather in Kyiv at this period of the year with an average temperature now of +15 didn't let me to catch cold, even though I had to dry my hair under hand-dryer in the nearby café, that was my first experience ever :)
All in all, I had a great ending of this long and dynamic day!
L’viv, Ukraine, 79002, Velychkovskiy st.52/31
Ukrainian Academy of Printing
The 3rd of November began when I opened my eyes at 7 o’clock in the morning. Well, actually I didn’t do it on my own. My alarm clock helped me. I woke up in a great mood. Few days ago it was terrible, because I was really tired working for the organization of local election, but today the mood was like the sun: shiny and brightly.
Like always I had a delicious breakfast with my family and after it I went to check my e-mails and read news to know everything that happens all around the world and especially in Ukraine. As you know, dear diary, there was local election at the 31st of October and I am curious about the situation in every part of my country. After some fresh news I had a time to prepare for a test Principles of Ukrainian Terminology. So I did it.
My classes began at 10:15 a.m. and finished at 2:00 p.m. Nothing special I guess. Two lectures and sometime later I was at the Academy’s library searching for books to prepare for the next test. Oh, sometimes I think that all this tests will make me crazy!!!
To had some rest my close friend Lesya and I went to the gift shop. But there we were really unpleasantly surprised when we saw a magnet with a Cossack who had strange colors on his clothes. The colors of his shirt, belt and trousers were like the colors of Russian flag. It made so bad impression for us! How can it be? After this “accident” we decided “No more gift shops today!” and went home.
In comparison with all days before, I came back home early. So I had time to chat with my friends, completely made all my homework and wrote a little story about one day of my life in a diary.
Day in the life of CUPP’2010 intern
03 November 2010
Today is Wednesday 3/11/10/. And this day promises to be extremely interesting.
I’m not going to tell you how I got up and did all the usual morning things because I have lot of other much more interesting things to tell about.
That day I had to be at Parliament much more early then usual because Wednesday is ‘Caucus Day’ on Parliamentary Hill. This day all Parliamentary Parties have general meetings held by their members. And that morning I was going to visit NDP’s Caucus meeting and to see my MP Claude Gravelle there.
So, I got there in time and Mr. Gravelle had been already there. NDP’s Caucus meetings take place at another building which is in 10 minutes walk from West Block where our office is situated. These ten minutes are also a great chance to talk to MP considering the fact that it was the last day I could see him. The next day I was going to Edmonton to participate in Ukrainian Canadian Congress. And next week (which will be the last week of my internship in Ottawa) Mr. Gravelle will spend in his constituency.
It is really important for me to visit all those Caucus Meetings because currently I’m working on my PhD thesis on the topic of “Comparative analysis of functioning of Parliamentary Fractions (Caucuses)”. NDP Caucus Chair had allowed me to stay for first 30 minutes of the meeting and after that they sat in camera. It was interesting and I’ve matched some peculiarities which I found useful for my research.
After that I’ve came back to office and did some office work till 12.30. At that time I’ve met other CUPP interns in West Block’s dining room. There were almost all of our students, because at 1 p.m. we scheduled a meeting with CUPP Director Mr. Ihor Bardyn. That event was important for us. We’ve got to know about some nearest future plans and actions. Also Mr. Bardyn asked us to describe in one short sentence our two month stay in Canada. It was brain storming task because all of us have so much emotions and impressions which couldn’t be described in one sentence. But all interns did it. My sentence was “It is great opportunity to feel what democracy is”. After the meeting we’ve took a group picture in front of Centre Block (on parliamentary grass). All interns came back to their offices just for few hours because that evening we have had two more events.
At 6.30 pm CUPP interns had a pleasure to meet (and have desert in Parliamentary Restaurant) with Mark Warawa, James Bezan, Peter Goldring and few other MPs. But the main figure was Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Honorable Jason T. Kenney. He’s made very emotional and interesting speech about Ukrainian Canadians, their history and their role in “building” of Canada. After that he had presented to each intern greeting letters personally signed by Canada’s Prime-Minister Stephen Harper. It was really a big surprise for all of us.
Immediately after that event we were supposed to move from Parliament to Ukrainian Embassy building. Few cars and bus was waiting for us to deliver to sport stadium. And at that same place CUPP team headed by Ukrainian Ambasador Ihor Ostash had fought (soccer match) team of House of Commons. But the number of our rivals was too small so they couldn’t form appropriate team. So we’ve borrowed them few our players. From now I can say that it was a strategic mistake which had brought defeat to our team. Nevertheless we know that we are much more stronger and main aim of that match was only fun.
After all these adventures I’ve came back home very late. I haven’t had much time for preparing my luggage for the next day trip to Edmonton. I’ve taken only the most useful things and went to bed because it was very important to feel fresh the next day morning.
The future trip should be really significant.
Kyiv International University
My name is Viktoriia! I am a student! I study at the university and work as a lawyer after studies.
Today my morning started as usual. I woke up and went to the university. Everyone knows how to pass a class, so I will not dwell on this issue.
But I want to mention one thing. The legal profession is associated with working with people, with their lives. The information that law students receive in the classroom is different from theory to practice. For lawyers practice is an important part of their work. I believe that it is impossible to be a lawyer without having practical work experience.
After classes, I met a woman whom I gave legal aid. For you, I will describe briefly the essence of the matter. A woman is pregnant and the employer wants to fire her. According to the Ukrainian law, it can’t be done. Unfortunately, in practice there are situations when employers are trying to circumvent the law.
I offer legal advice to this woman for several months. First, employer would lay off her to reduce positions. Then she went to the hospital, but the employer does not pay her a financial aid. When she appealed to me, I wrote several letters to the employer. But the situation has not changed. Then we were forced to seek help from the prosecutor's office. Assistance has been paid. Now a woman has given birth, but correspondence with the employer continues.
Unfortunately, the violation of the law is not uncommon. I believe that people should fight for their rights.
Human rights are a priority in the world. We must strive to prevent such violations.
CUPP 2010 Intern
November 2, 2010
My day started around 9:00 am. Today the work in the office of my MP Mr. Stephen Woodworth was quite usual. I had to continue to work with the talking points and with some letters. Letters usually are from Mr. Woodworth riding – Kitchener centre. At my desk lied letters on following topics: Bill C-300, Bill C-304, and Bill S-10, letter on travel to Mexico and a request from one of constituents asking my MP to explain the situation with the Water Privatization Conference. I started with a letter on a travel to Mexico. One of my MP constituents is going on a mission with students to Mexico. In order to take every possible precaution he wrote a letter asking for advice about his trip.
I had to find information what does Canadian Government says on visiting Mexico. First of all, I looked on Ministry of Foreign Affairs web-site. This ministry provides travel advisories for many countries. It turned out that currently Mexico has a deteriorating security situation in its many parts. Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has posted official warning against non-essential travel to the border areas between Mexico and the United States, due to continuously high levels of violence linked to drug trafficking in those areas. My next step was to try to get comments on this issue from someone of Ministry. Because current Canadian Government is formed from Conservative party, in each Ministry is a person, who is responsible for inside party correspondence. So, I decided to write an email to a person in a Ministry of Foreign Affairs that is responsible for this correspondence. I received rather quick answer which stated that I should call. So I called. The person that I was speaking to was named Ashley. She explained me in more details what precautions “my” constituent should take and what he should know. After all I drafted a letter response to the constituent and send it to Sonja (administrative assistant of my MP) for corrections.
In the afternoon I wrote some as I call RSVP refuse-letters. Translation from French RSVP (répondez s'il vous plait) means "Please respond". Every invitation letter contains contact information it is called RSVP. Assistants have to respond to this letters if they are wishing to attend or not wishing to attend event. As I was doing that work a man whose name was Mark came, he was from Conservative party and wanted to talk to Mr. Woodworth. Mr. Woodworth was not in office at that time, so we talked a little bit. It turned out that Mark had been to Ukraine back in 80s. He visited Kyiv for short time, but experienced a lot of problems dealing with police and crossing the border.
After completing all RSVP refuse-letters I continued with my talking points on Saudi Arabia and the United States. Slowly, my day has come to an end.
November 1, 2010
My day began with my office. I have already got used to it. There are three more assistants who work with Rick Dykstra, the Conservative Member of Parliament for St. Catharines. I am very lucky with all of them. Mr. Dykstra is very active; he has lots of meetings each day apart from attending Question Period in the afternoon. Many guests visit our office; we receive lots of letters, calls, and invitations.
In the afternoon we had a meeting in the U. S. embassy. Having visited a range of them here in Ottawa, nevertheless I was impressed. The security system consists of three stages. Firstly, you need to show your international passport to the police officer at the front door. He checks his list of the registered and invited persons. Secondly, you need to go through the scanner. All the electronic devices must be taken while you are staying in the embassy. Thirdly, you need to give your passport to the next police officer. Instead you receive a red visitor pass. Finally two representatives met us after we passed the third door.
The building itself is unique too. As it is situated 10 minutes away from the parliament, the territory is limited. It is quite high and long. Inside there is open space in the middle as if there is the only corridor on the ground floor. We went to the conference room. We discussed Canada-USA relations, cultural and ecological issues.
In the evening we went to the rehearsal at the embassy, this time Ukrainian one. In three days, on the 4th of November we are holding Crimea Party. We have much work to do; it is not an easy task. We spent several hours there, discussed lots of issues. Some of us did research on this topic; the other looked for pictures, poetry and songs. We advertised this event; many people are expected to come. Understanding our responsibility, we look even more forward to take this challenge.
My internship is close to the end. The changes and experience are tremendous. I feel I am in the right place at the right time. I believe it is only the beginning.
Ievgen Ivashchenko, CUPP 2011 applicant
Dear CUPP diary!
Today was a great day! Unlike other applicants and interns this Monday was very easy for me. This is so, because Today was a day off because of the yesterday's Local elections (yes, in Halloween!). Throughout the local elections my university was closed, because it is one of the polling stations. That’s why today was very easy day for me.
It’s still difficult to make some conclusions about elections, but I can say one thing: at one polling station in Donetsk, the turnout was 35%. It can only be explained by the reluctance of the population to participate in elections and disinterest in the future of Ukraine. So the authorities have already started an active struggle with the political passivity of the Ukrainians. I'm looking forward that these elections will bring only long-awaited prosperity and stability.
Today I also found out about the act of terror in Istanbul at beautiful Taksim Square. It’s really-really impressed me…
Hm, I don’t know what to write else. Everyone wrote such big letters, but I didn’t…
Well, good night everyone!