In the words of Gandzia Morozova: “My motivation is the victory of Ukraine”
Gandzia Morozova is a casting manager and film director from Kyiv. Following the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Morozova became the head of the Ukrainian Women Veteran Movement, known as VETERANKA, which delivers humanitarian aid to de-occupied territories and war hot spots. Since 24 February 2022, the organization has strengthened its focus on humanitarian assistance and started a series of psychological support sessions with support from UN Women, under the project “Transformative approaches to achieve gender equality in Ukraine,”supported by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for the European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine and funded by the Government of Sweden.
For me, the war started nine years ago, when my father was mobilized, and from that moment I lived with a clear feeling and expectation of a full-scale invasion. On 24 February 2022 [the beginning of the full-scale invasion], I was worried about one thing: are we going to cancel the planned shooting of a short film because the actors must be given a day’s notice? The shooting was canceled.
I started reading the news and thinking about how I could be useful. I started volunteering and knew for sure that I was helping and immediately saw certain results. That’s how I got to know the Ukrainian Women Veteran Movement (VETERANKA) volunteer headquarters.
At the headquarters, I used to deal with logistics. We developed a system for organizing warehouses and collecting applications. We unloaded humanitarian aid at the train station. And I created a base of volunteer drivers who delivered necessary medicine and food on demand. I also coordinated the delivery of humanitarian aid to the liberated towns of Irpin and Bucha and organized the military escort. And then there were trips to the East. Once, at the border with the Donetsk region, we were me by fighter jets …
Now, I am responsible for setting up various processes for the work and life of the headquarters: from creating worktables and instructions to monitoring the execution of tasks. My experience as a film director was very useful, as the tasks on a set and at the headquarters are actually similar: communicating with people, setting tasks, planning and keeping track of time.
From the moment I became acquainted with the movement until today, we have not had a moment of silence or idleness. We are always in action. We raise important issues about women in the army. We organize millions of meetings at the request of military people. We help the civilian population. I am sure that in the future this will have a positive impact on society as a whole and the reconstruction of Ukraine. You can’t waste time. We understand that and we are acting now.
My motivation is the victory of Ukraine and a night of peaceful sleep with the realization that people do not die in our country – that those I love are safe, and that you can live life and not wait for a missile to hit the house. I know it will definitely happen, so we are working. I do what I can. I sincerely admire the people I meet and with whom we implement various fantastic projects aimed at creating benefits and results. It inspires something bigger and even bolder.”