Our community is what makes us special. Today, we would like to introduce you to Anna, who has been a participant and buddy of SPEAK for the last two years. Here’s her story.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Anna Tron, I am a Ukrainian living and working in Kaunas, Lithuania. At the moment I speak Ukrainian, Russian, English, Lithuanian and Italian. I have been a member of the SPEAK community for two years now. And I am glad to look back at my very first steps on SPEAK and share my story with you!
How did you find out about SPEAK?
It’s funny because actually, I don’t remember how I found out about SPEAK. But I remember very well when it happened. April 2020, in the middle of the lockdown in my hometown in Ukraine.
That time I recently came back from my Italian voluntary project and got stuck in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. I was lucky to have an online job in contrast with my peers because many of them lost their sources of income. The only crucial point was that I couldn’t travel anymore. The pandemic ruined my travel and traineeship plans. At that point, I somehow came across SPEAK. A new phase of my life began. My evenings have never been the same. SPEAK has been a great help in raising my spirits.
Can you tell us something about your SPEAK journey?
I started as a participant in the Italian Conversational group. At that time I was so impressed, so I took part twice in a row. I looked forward to meeting my group mates and buddy online every evening. Sometimes I felt overexcited but in a positive way. I belonged to a special unifying and meaningful project. I felt happy, without many words.
Later in May 2020 I decided to launch my own group and became a buddy after my personal fantastic experience. I was so inspired by the sense of voluntarism and sharing with others: a small, lovely group of Russian language learners. I prepared thoroughly for each session, searching for valuable content relevant to my participants’ learning needs.
Why belonging to SPEAK was very important for me then? It’s very simple: all I wanted in life at that time was to be needed, and SPEAK made me feel needed. Thanks to SPEAK, I’ve got the opportunity to share what I can, and to care about others in this way within the virtual community. And to add my endless love for languages to all these perks! An awesome mix, if you ask me!
This is probably the core of how dedicated project ambassadors are born! Even more, if the values of the community coincide with your personal ones.
What role does SPEAK have in your life at the moment?
Since December 2021, I’ve been living in Kaunas. I have already participated in the Italian Conversational group online to maintain the appropriate level of language.
However, since the beginning of the war in February, everything has changed for Ukrainians. I was ready for a new beginning of my language journey, especially when my language skills would become helpful! I’ve been volunteering as a translator from Lithuanian to Ukrainian: translating texts, and interpreting during the events. Now I am attending the Lithuanian Conversational Social Club in Kaunas to help with the Lithuanian language for Ukrainians who have been affected by the war.
What do you want to say to people that consider being part of the SPEAK’s community?
Participating in SPEAK has added extra spirit to my everyday life. I wish that everyone can experience something like this. So don’t hesitate and give it a try, because you’ll for sure meet many inspiring and like-minded people!
Support Anna and SPEAK Lithuania
Has Anna’s story inspired you?
Anna is among the 1,000 people that SPEAK Lithuania has impacted by promoting the Lithuanian language and culture.
Over 50,000 refugees from Ukraine entered Lithuania due to the current conflict. SPEAK Lithuania is playing a part in helping them settle and get integrated into their local communities. They are now raising funds to scale impact and reach more people who can benefit from our SPEAK community the most.
Help them reach more people. Support SPEAK Lithuania’s crowdfunding campaign.
Do you also want to share your SPEAK story with us? Comment below and we’d love to talk to you!