Virtuous Voices: Building Communities of Change

Text and photos by Iana Kopylova

The European elections present a unique opportunity for all citizens to contribute to the decision-making process of the European Union. From local issues to broader European concerns, every vote counts. It’s a chance to speak up about the issues that matter to you. From June 6th to June 9th, 2024, people in Europe will have a chance to help decide what happens next.

The European Parliament adopts laws that affect everyone, including migrant women. Yet, their voices are often marginalized in political discourse. By providing information and resources, we seek to ensure that migrant women are actively engaged in shaping the future of European politics.

My project features stories of migrant women who have overcome challenges and actively contributed to their communities. These stories showcase the resilience, courage, and determination of migrant women, inspiring others to take action and exercise their right to vote.

Meet the inspiring women behind Virtuous Voices each bringing their unique talents, experiences, and passion to this story: a dedicated educator with a heart for empowering others through language, a guardian of knowledge and an advocate for multicultural literacy, a visionary leader with a heart for social change and a writer with a pen as her weapon.

Together, let’s ensure our voices are heard and contribute to building a future that addresses the needs and dreams of everyone in society. Your vote matters. If you vote, you have a say.

More info here:

Let me introduce you to a passionate librarian from France who thrives in the vibrant multicultural environment of her library. With a commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity, she curates a rich collection of literature from around the world, ensuring that every visitor feels welcomed and represented. Through her dedication, she creates a space where cultural exchange flourishes, enriching the community one book at a time.

Official site:

Instagram: @weneedbooks

A kind-hearted young woman from Austria with a passion for making a positive impact. In Greece, she leads a project that supports migrants and refugees in obtaining English teaching certificates. With her gentle spirit and dedication, Elena creates pathways for these individuals to find stability and hope through language education. Her story is one of empathy, empowerment, and the beauty of lending a helping hand.

Official site:


Meet a dynamic Ukrainian activist and writer based in Athens, Greece. Dedicated to fostering community connections and well-being, she organizes a range of psycho-social activities for the Ukrainian community. From engaging in book club discussions to inspiring creative writing sessions, and refreshing walks around Athens, she creates spaces for shared experiences and meaningful interactions, enriching the lives of those around her.

Instagram: @nataliya_dovhopol

Growing up in South Africa during the late 60s, I witnessed first hand the effects of apartheid, a system of legislated race separation and enforced social discrimination that permeated all aspects of life. School was particularly challenging, with bullying based on ethnic and cultural differences being commonplace. I vividly remember a young Portuguese boy, a refugee from the Mozambique war, who was shunned by our teacher instead of being welcomed. This experience left a lasting impression on me, fueling my determination to challenge injustice.

Now, as a project coordinator aiding refugees, I see echoes of my own past in the struggles of these displaced children. Discrimination persists, particularly towards unaccompanied youth seeking belonging in indifferent societies. Despite strides towards independence and equality, the legacy of discrimination still looms large, reminding us that there is much work to be done.

Official site:

Instagram: @greekforumofrefugees