JULIA DASHINA. We Want to Make Kindness Contagious
Julia Dashina, co-Founder of the Andrey and Julia Dashin Foundation, was born and grew up in Kazan. She qualified in Economics and Finance and changed her career to television presenting a TV show, which promoted women in business, before coming to Cyprus. In an exclusive Premiere interview, Mrs. Dashina gives readers an insight into her life.
Please provide us with the history behind the Andrey and Julia Dashin Foundation.
Our experience in philanthropic work began years ago, in our hometown of Kazan, Russia, with our first foundation, which we ran for over a decade. The Andrey and Julia Dashin Foundation was officially founded more than two years ago and its purpose is to give back to the local community in Cyprus, with an emphasis on those who need help the most. To find out more about whom we are and what we do, you can visit our website at www. dashinfoundation.org or connect with us via Facebook.
What is the true philosophy behind the Foundation?
The philosophy of the Andrey and Julia Dashin Foundation is simple. We want to become a force of good in Cyprus, making kindness contagious! Our philosophy is to help worthy charitable causes and inspire others who also have the ability to help. Combining forces will create a greater result.
You presented a TV show about «Women In Business». Can you tell us more?
I had a wonderful job working in television, which provided me with a daily outlet for my creativity. Every day was different and presented new challenges, as every programme we recorded was based on a different topic. Topics ranged from mountain climbing to women working in the finance sector and even what it’s like having a tattoo done!
What essential advice can you give to women in business, especially ones who are starting their own business?
I think women are remarkable creatures; our ability to multi-task is well-known. My background in economics has provided me with an invaluable skill set around time management, which I find an important attribute for any business man or woman to have. What I would say to young women who are starting their own business is not to be afraid to make mistakes and to persevere. Every failure is a challenge that leads to success.
Is it challenging being a business woman and mother?
I keep a healthy balance by remembering that my family is the most important thing in my life and they provide the foundation for everything else that I do. Although I’m an independent person, it is wonderful to have a husband and partner in life who is supportive of my many ideas and projects.
Carrying out my role in the Foundation is very satisfying and provides a creative outlet for my many ideas and ambitions for giving back to the community. I am involved throughout the development of every project undertaken by the Foundation.
Do you have a favourite fashion designer?
There are so many amazing fashion designers. I don’t have a favourite. I’m open to new names and viewing the talent season-by-season. I like to mix pieces from different designers, to create my own look. The look that I always avoid is the «total look», when someone dressed from head to toe in the clothes of just one designer.
You practice yoga and other spiritual forms of relaxation which include meditation? How have these affected your life in a positive way?
I have been practicing yoga and doing meditation for over 10 years now and this has certainly affected me in a positive way, since it helps me keep focus on the things that really do matter in the world. I also spend much more of my time outdoors doing the things that I could not do in Kazan, restricted by the weather, such as playing tennis, hiking and learning to dance Bachata.
Do you travel as a family on vacations? If so, what is the favourite place the family enjoys most?
It depends. Twice a year, during the holidays, we travel to our home place in Kazan, Russia for the children to visit their grandparents and for us to get a chance to reconnect with friends and other relatives. Throughout the year, my husband and I also travel a lot, but mostly for ourselves. We usually take short trips to Italy, UAE, England, Switzerland or anywhere else in an effort to see firsthand the many beautiful sites and to learn about the local culture and flavour. This year, we included in our list the country of Japan. We really liked this country.
At the end of September, we returned from the Alps, where we made several ascents, most of which were unforgettable experiences. The highlight was certainly climbing the snowy peak of the Matterhorn.
Do you enjoy living in Cyprus and ever miss your homeland?
The island of Cyprus has seduced me and I feel truly blessed to live here. Being Russian by origin, but Cypriot at heart, I feel there are many similarities between our cultures, such as strong family values. Perhaps the island’s best feature is the perfect combination of a traditional Mediterranean culture, which is typified by the warmth and hospitality of the Cypriot people and a close-knit community that makes the island a safe place to raise children.
What family values do you feel enhance the strength of a family in today’s society?
Relationships don’t work without an investment of time. Never have, never will. Love must be at its core and happiness never comes without effort. Having said that, I believe the strength of a family in today’s society lies in its ability to love unconditionally and understand each member of the family without judgement or expectation to be someone other than what they truly are.