«The ESF project was wonderful on all counts, it changed my life.
It made me feel so safe coming from a country where we had to bring our chairs to attend class after the partial destruction of the University in Grozny.
Journalism studies were very difficult and sometimes students in Paris made me feel that I shouldn’t have been there, but these were the best three years of my life. I’ve learned language skills and acquired a lot of self-confidence as well as I’ve made professional contacts with media agencies.
At every moment I felt the support from the ESF team in Paris, physically and emotionally. They made me feel at home.
Back in Chechnya, I’m doing humanitarian aid for an NGO that works with young girls. I try to encourage them to have dreams and projects. I’ve learned that if you want to make changes you have to be flexible. I try to do something to change life conditions in Chechnya.
I regret not to be able to work in journalism but it is far too dangerous to exercise the skills I’ve learned in Paris in a dictatorship where corruption abounds at every level. It is just not possible. But journalism has given me very important intellectual tools for analysis and ways of thinking and organizing my thoughts that will stay with me forever!»