HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL MOTHERS IN HMA. OLENA, A MOTHER AND A FEMALE DEMINER IN EASTERN UKRAINE“There are many children here just like my son. Someone must clear this land, so they can live in a safe environment.” Olena Chyzh, DDG Ukraine
The sites of female deminers dressed in heavy PPE, eight hours a day are common in Eastern Ukraine. Olena Chyzh is one of these incredible women. She was born in Pervomaysk, Luhansk Oblast. In 2014, she went on maternity leave with the hope of going back to her legal career. Unfortunately, life took a different turn and when the conflict started, she and her son were forced to flee to Zolote, Luhansk Oblast
In 2017, as Olena was passing by the road next to a minefield she noticed deminers. “I was so happy to see someone is clearing it” recalls Olena. Shortly after she came across a job advertisement from DDG and decided to apply. In March 2018, she joined the DDG team with whom she has been conducting manual demining in the area of Myrna Dolyna, Luhansk Oblast.
We were curious to know what inspired Olena to change her career and she did not hesitate to share with us that, “there are many children here just like my son. Someone must clear this land, so they can live in a safe environment.”
In February 2020 Olena was promoted to become a Team Leader. She will now have a team of five-six people whom she will be leading in humanitarian demining operations. “First of all, you should have empathy, persistence and determination, says Olena about the skills a team leader should possess. “We have to plan and organise the work. Then motivate people to do a good job, then monitor the result and quality of the completed tasks.”
It is important for her to continue the work of humanitarian demining. “Developing together with the organization is my long-term plan. I plan on developing my skills and continue to benefit our organization, my people and help my country be safe again.” DRC-DDG Ukraine is committed to support gender inclusivity and equal opportunities for men and women in their career choice.