Olya is managing our projects in Ukraine and Azerbaijan.
Ola has been involved in many geographic and thematic areas, working with Russia, North and South Caucasus, Belarus, EEA Grants and human rights education. Today, she is coordinating projects in Ukraine and advocacy efforts in Azerbaijan.
“I am very proud to see our LGBTI-project in Ukraine gain recognition from local and international partners. Ukraine today is a country in deep transition, which entails harsh struggle over keeping the old or recognizing new values, like human rights or LGBTI-rights.”
Olya was born in Ukraine, studied, worked and lived in several countries, including the U.S. and France before settling in Norway in 2007. Her first job at the USAID-supported press-development project in Kiev, Ukraine, accounts for lasting dedication to issues of freedom of expression, independent media and quality investigative journalism.
Human rights advocates and journalists are especially vulnerable in many countries, due to their ability to raise issues and mobilize support. Olya is concerned about the growing tall of casualties: since the start of 2017 six journalists were killed only in Europe.
“It is powerful to meet people for whom killings, injustice and police abuse is not a note in the newspaper or a Facebook-post they scroll down, but a crude daily reality they feel on their skin. You get an overwhelming wish to help, by any means you can”.
Before joining us, Olya worked at Aker Solutions. She has also guided thousands of tourists in Oslo’s fjord, museums and streets during several seasons with the Norway Yacht Charter, as well as worked with fourth-graders in a Norwegian school. Olya holds a master’s degree from the Kiev State Linguistic University, and a bachelor’s degree in Culture and Communications from the University of Oslo.