Conference – Svitlana Zaluzhna bio

Before the attempt of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, I was a social entrepreneur. For many years, I was a principal of a private school, experimenting with the best world-known educational approaches and innovative practices, and then in 2020, I fully shifted into the field of family development. In 2020 started a family social business aimed at the development and preservation of the Ukrainian family and humane parenting called ЗОРЕЛОВИ. Family programs in Ukraine were conducted for more than 300 families from 6 countries.

I hold a business degree from MIM-Kyiv and a degree in humanities.

Areas of expertise include project management, resilient community development, cultural integration, coaching, human-centered approach, and feminine leadership.

I have been living in Lithuania since March 2022 and have been actively involved in social work. I founded an NGO called Open Nations, which focuses on implementing social projects and initiatives aimed at preserving humanity’s principles, promoting multicultural tolerance, and enabling people from different nations to live and work together during military conflicts, global migration, and ongoing crises.

The organization has received a total of 430,000 euros in funding from the EE and Norway grants, with support from the Ministry of Finance of Lithuania. The funding is being used to create a project called UA+LT=TULA., which aims to promote mutual integration, and resilient community development and enrich the cultural experiences of Ukrainian and Lithuanian families. In 2022-2023, the project held 20 cultural and educational events and 12 family camps across 6 Lithuanian cities, with 1500 participants.

The project involved unique installations and immersive theater performances that portrayed the stories of women who survived the occupation. This resulted in hundreds of hours of dialogue between Ukrainians and Lithuanians.

The project garnered significant publicity and attention from the Lithuanian and international media, as well as from the Office of the President of Lithuania and international organizations such as the United Nations, UNHSR, and the Nordic Council of Ministers. The project was also presented at the European Parliament in Brussels in September. In February 2023, I also launched and headed a newly created hub for Ukrainian activists in Vilnius, UKREATE HUB. 270 Ukrainian women from various fields receive systematic support, funding, knowledge, and networking.